10-Ship Joint High Speed Vessel Contract Now Fully Funded

The U.S. Navy has exercised a contract option funding the construction of a 10th Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), as part of a ten-ship program potentially worth over US$1.6 billion. The construction contract for this vessel is valued at approximately US$166.9 million.

Austal USA’s President, Craig Perciavalle, commented “This is exciting news at Austal USA, coming on the heel of the official delivery of the first JHSV, USNS Spearhead, just a couple of weeks ago.” Perciavalle went on to say, “The Austal USA employees have worked hard to reach this significant milestone of a fully-funded Navy contract, and thanks to their dedication, now have many years of solid backlog to look forward to.”

As prime contractor, Austal was awarded the construction contract for the first 103-meter JHSV in November 2008, with options for nine additional vessels between FY09 and FY13. The 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans are designed to be fast, flexible and maneuverable even in shallow waters, making them ideal for transporting troops and equipment quickly within a theater of operations. The ship will support the warfighter through traditional logistics missions, humanitarian support projects, disaster response and by supporting maritime law enforcement activities.

Austal Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Bellamy, said that the award demonstrated the U.S. Navy’s commitment to the program. “With all ten Joint High Speed Vessels fully funded and the recent delivery of JHSV 1, Austal USA is now in a great position to focus on improving efficiency and delivering these innovative ships to the Navy.”

Austal USA is a full-service shipyard offering design, construction and high-speed vessel service and repair. As Austal USA continues to expand its service and repair capabilities, the company is well-positioned for new business with engineering, test and trials capabilities, and a new waterfront facility on the Mobile Bay waterfront.

With this award, Austal has been contracted by the U.S. Navy to build ten 103-meter JHSVs under a 10-ship, $1.6 billion contract, one of which has already been delivered, and six 127-meter Independence-variant LCS class ships (including USS Independence, delivered to the Navy in 2009), four of which are a part of a 10-ship, $3.5 billion contract.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal, as prime contractor, is 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 allows for affordable and efficient capability growth as technologies develop.

These two contracts will require Austal to increase its Mobile, Alabama workforce to approximately 4,000 employees in order to fulfill the contract requirements.

# # #

For more information on Austal, please contact:
Craig Hooper, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and External Affairs, Austal USA
Tel: 1-251-434-8000
Fax: 1-251-445-1912
Email: craig.hooper@austalusa.com
Website: www.austal.com