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Mobile’s Austal shipyard cranks out second U.S. Navy ship in three months

The USNS Brunswick.  c/o Austal USA
The USNS Brunswick.
c/o Austal USA

MOBILE, Ala. — Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama, shipyard on Tuesday launched its second U.S. Navy ship in three months. The launch comes as the company continues to fulfill its $1.6 billion, 10-ship block buy contract with the United States government.

The 338-foot USNS Brunswick entered the water for the first time and will undergo final outfitting and testing before sea trials and delivery to the U.S. Navy. The recently launched ship is classified as Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) 6 and has an average speed of 35 knots. Like other JHSVs, it can support rapid deployment of personnel, equipment, and supplies, as well as a helicopter-capable flight deck.

“The successful launch of JHSV 6 further supports the level of maturity this program has reached,” said Austal USA President Craig Perciavalle.

Perciavalle described the launch as a “major milestone” and gave credit to “Austal’s team of talented shipbuilders.”

Austal is a global defense contractor, designer, and manufacturer of defense and commercial ships. The company chose Mobile to host its sole production facility in the U.S, employing more than 4,000 people.

Austal’s state-of-the-art Mobile facility currently has three JHSVs and seven Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) under construction.

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1), a member of the House Armed Forces Committee, was instrumental in the House passing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which secured funding for three of the LCS ships.

“I am very proud of our efforts to secure authorization for three more Littoral Combat Ships,” Byrne said after the House vote. “My colleagues in Congress are continuing to realize what our Navy leaders have said all along: the LCS is a critical piece of our naval fleet. I will continue to work tirelessly to support our nation’s Navy and the hardworking men and women at the Austal shipyard in Mobile.”

The USNS Trenton, a JHSV 5, launched last September and headed to Pensacola Naval Air Station this year. The USS Jackson, a Littoral Combat Ship, launched at the end of 2013 and is preparing for sea acceptance trials that will take place later on this summer.

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