Austal Commences Fabrication of JHSV3

Austal’s US ship­yard has cel­e­brat­ed the offi­cial start of fab­ri­ca­tion for the third Joint High Speed Ves­sel (JHSV 3), one of sev­en Austal-designed 103 metre US Navy Joint High Speed Ves­sels (JHSV) under con­tract with the US Depart­ment of Defense.

“The race is on,” said Austal USA Pres­i­dent and Chief Oper­at­ing Offi­cer, Joe Rel­la. “The world is about to learn just how much val­ue Austal’s invest­ments in mod­u­lar ship fab­ri­ca­tion offers our Navy and Mil­i­tary Sealift Com­mand cus­tomers. We chal­lenge our­selves every day to build each ship faster and more effi­cient­ly than the one before.” 

By the time the first Joint High Speed Ves­sel USNS Spear­head (JHSV 1), was Chris­tened on Sep­tem­ber 17, 2011, the first of over 40 mod­ules of JHSV 2, had moved from Austal’s Mod­ule Man­u­fac­tur­ing Facil­i­ty (MMF) to the final assem­bly bay, where the ship will take shape. 

Austal was select­ed as prime con­trac­tor in Novem­ber 2008 to design and build the first JHSV, with options for nine addi­tion­al ves­sels expect­ed to be exer­cised between FY09 and FY13 as part of a pro­gram poten­tial­ly worth over US$1.6 bil­lion. Six of those options have already been exer­cised.
First Dis­trict Con­gress­man Jo Bon­ner (R‑AL) com­mem­o­rat­ed the offi­cial start of fab­ri­ca­tion for JHSV 3. 

“Austal and Mobile are becom­ing syn­ony­mous for high speed defence on the water,” said Con­gress­man Bonner. 

“By sup­port­ing this facil­i­ty, we are not only bol­ster­ing employ­ment here at home, we are invest­ing in secu­ri­ty. The facil­i­ty and work­force here are ramp­ing up and ready to help the Navy and Marine Corps meet the naval chal­lenges of tomor­row. Austal’s ship­yard is cer­tain­ly one of a kind. Their state-of-the-art mod­u­lar man­u­fac­tur­ing process rep­re­sents a new more effi­cient direc­tion in Navy ship­build­ing, and it’s excit­ing to see these amaz­ing ves­sels tran­si­tion from start to fin­ish, right here, in Mobile, Alabama.” 

As the US Depart­ment of Defense’s next gen­er­a­tion mul­ti-use plat­form, the 103-metre JHSV will pro­vide rapid intra-the­ater deployment/transportation of per­son­nel, equip­ment and sup­plies. The ves­sel will sup­port mil­i­tary logis­tics, sus­tain­ment and human­i­tar­i­an relief oper­a­tions at speeds of up to 43 knots. The JHSV will trans­port medi­um-size oper­a­tional units with their vehi­cles, or recon­fig­ure to pro­vide troop trans­port for an infantry bat­tal­ion, allow­ing units to tran­sit long dis­tances while main­tain­ing unit integri­ty. The ves­sel also sup­ports heli­copter oper­a­tions and has a slew­ing vehi­cle ramp on the star­board quar­ter which enables use of aus­tere piers and quay walls, com­mon in devel­op­ing coun­tries. A shal­low draft (under 4 metres) will fur­ther enhance the­ater port access.

JHSV 3 is the fourth naval ves­sel to be con­struct­ed at Austal using the new pro­ce­dures and process­es devel­oped in con­junc­tion with Austal’s Mod­ule Man­u­fac­tur­ing Facil­i­ty (MMF). The MMF pro­vides Austal with assem­bly line effi­cien­cy, which has result­ed in sig­nif­i­cant cost sav­ings and reduced lead times for both its US Navy programs. 

Austal is also cur­rent­ly prepar­ing to launch a sec­ond Inde­pen­dence-vari­ant 127-metre Lit­toral Com­bat Ship (LCS) class ves­sel for the US Navy, Coro­n­a­do (LCS 4). USS Inde­pen­dence (LCS 2) is cur­rent­ly being put through tri­als by her crew. As prime con­trac­tor for the next LCS 10-ship con­tract, award­ed by the US Navy at the end of 2010, Austal has also begun work on the first ship of that con­tract, Jack­son (LCS 6), with Mont­gomery (LCS 8) under contract. 

For the LCS and JHSV pro­grams, Austal is the prime con­trac­tor and teamed with Gen­er­al Dynam­ics Advanced Infor­ma­tion Sys­tems, a busi­ness unit of Gen­er­al Dynam­ics. As the ship sys­tems inte­gra­tor, Gen­er­al Dynam­ics is respon­si­ble for the design, inte­gra­tion and test­ing of the ship’s elec­tron­ic sys­tems includ­ing the com­bat sys­tem, net­works, and seaframe con­trol. Gen­er­al Dynam­ics’ proven open archi­tec­ture approach pro­vides afford­able capa­bil­i­ties to the fleet quick­ly and efficiently. 

With the 13-year anniver­sary of its US ship­build­ing oper­a­tions approach­ing, Austal has grown into one of South­ern Alabama’s largest employ­ers with over 2,300 employ­ees on staff hail­ing from the Mobile area, Mis­sis­sip­pi, Flori­da, and beyond. Under the cur­rent work­load, Austal expects to employ over 4,000 Amer­i­cans by the end of 2013, and will be ready to help the US Navy meet any nation­al secu­ri­ty con­tin­gency ahead. 

Fur­ther reflect­ing Austal’s posi­tion as an emerg­ing glob­al defence prime con­trac­tor, the com­pa­ny was recent­ly award­ed a con­tract for the design, con­struc­tion and through-life sup­port of eight new patrol boats for the Aus­tralian Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion Ser­vice. Austal will build the fleet of Cape Class Patrol Boats at its ship­yard in Hen­der­son, West­ern Aus­tralia. Con­struc­tion of the first ves­sel is expect­ed to com­mence in Feb­ru­ary 2012, with all eight due to be deliv­ered between March 2013 and August 2015. The In-Ser­vice Sup­port con­tract extends for a min­i­mum peri­od of eight years and encom­pass­es a full range of inter­me­di­ate and depot lev­el main­te­nance activities. 

Austal has also used the capa­bil­i­ties of its Sys­tems divi­sion to bid for a mar­itime com­mu­ni­ca­tions mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gram for the Roy­al Aus­tralian Navy’s eight ANZAC Class Frigates. 

Fur­ther Infor­ma­tion
Phone: 61 8 9410 1111
Fax: 61 8 9410 2564


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