Our Bureau
04:04 PM, March 10, 2014

Austal has won a contract estimated $124.9 million from a Middle East client for the design, construction and integrated logistics support of two 72-metre High Speed Support Vessels (HSSVs).

Construction of the first vessel is expected to commence in 2014, with the second vessel expected to be delivered in 2016.

The HSSVs will be deployed with a similar mission to the Joint High Speed Vessels currently being constructed by Austal for the US Navy at the Company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

The HSSVs will offer a range of capabilities to support naval operations, including helicopter operations, rapid deployment of military personnel and cargo, and search and rescue operations.

Austal Chief Executive Officer Andrew Bellamy said the contract reflected the Company’s strategy of pursuing higher-value, defence vessel export opportunities in new markets.

“I am delighted that we have been awarded this contract, which is in line with our strategy of leveraging our revolutionary intellectual property and technology to new defence markets, particularly for underpinning the Henderson shipyard,” Mr Bellamy said.

“This contract reinforces the significant progress we have made in positioning Austal as a prime defence contractor.

“At Henderson, for example, we have a proven ability in designing, constructing and supporting defence vessels, including our current eight-ship Cape Class Patrol Boat contract for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. Meanwhile, our commercial ferry operations have been successfully transferred to our Philippines shipyard.

“The contract also illustrates the growing recognition by international naval forces of the utility of high speed support vessels, following on from our 10-ship Joint High Speed Vessel contract for the US Navy.”