The fifth of ten Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) contracts awarded to Austal.

On March 10, 2014, Austal held a keel-laying ceremony for the fifth Joint High Speed Vessel Trenton (JHSV 5), one of ten Austal-designed 103-meter U.S. Navy Joint High Speed Vessels under contract with the U.S. Navy. The ship’s sponsor, Ms. Virginia A. Kamsky, was present at the ceremony to authenticate the keel.

A highly distinguished business woman, Ms. Kamsky, was chosen to sponsor the ship by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus. Ms. Kamsky is serving under a White House appointment as a member of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy Advisory Panel (SNAP), an advisory body which provides the Secretary of the Navy with independent advice and recommendations on critical issues facing the Department of the Navy and the Navy Secretariat. Ms. Kamsky is a recipient of the Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, which is the highest honorary award the Secretary of the Navy can confer on a Department of the Navy civilian employee. Ms. Kamsky graduated cum laude from Princeton University in New Jersey, with a B.A. in East Asian Studies and attended the MPA program at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Ms. Kamsky was assisted at the ceremony by Mr. Paul Morehouse. Mr. Morehouse is an “A” Class welder and has been part of the Austal team since October of 2011.

A traditional keel-laying ceremony marks the first significant milestone in the construction of the ship. Due to Austal’s modular approach to ship manufacturing, all 43 of the modules used to form this 103-meter aluminum catamaran design are already being assembled. For Austal, keel-laying marks the beginning of final assembly. Twenty modules have been moved from Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF) and erected in the final assembly bay in their pre-launch position, the first having been erected less than two months ago on January 17, 2014. The rest will follow over the coming months.

Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA President, made the following remarks regarding the keel laying event: “Celebrating this keel laying for the 5th Joint High Speed Vessel is further evidence of the maturity of the JHSV program.” He went on to say, “Having successfully delivered the first two and knowing that four more are under various stages of construction in Austal’s shipyard at this time, I am confident that serial production of these dynamic vessels will continue to move smoothly as planned.”

Perciavalle also recognized the talented Austal employees who have played an integral role in the success of the JHSV program. “Without their overwhelming sense of pride and dedication, we wouldn’t be celebrating the success of this U.S. Navy shipbuilding program as we are today.”

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. All nine options have been exercised providing Austal with ten JHSV construction contracts.

The JHSV is a relatively new asset that will be an important Navy connector. In peacetime, JHSVs will be operating forward supporting Navy Expeditionary Combat Command and riverine forces, theater cooperating missions, Seabees, Marine Corps and Army transportation. Each JHSV 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 meters) will further enhance theater port access.

USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) was delivered in December 2012 and was recently deployed to Europe and Africa. USNS Choctaw County (JHSV 2) was delivered in June 2013 and is currently stationed in Norfolk, Va. USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3) has successfully completed acceptance trials and is scheduled for delivery soon. USNS Fall River (JHSV 4) was launched in January and is preparing for builder’s trials. Construction has also begun on Brunswick (JHSV 6).

Austal USA is also building the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Jackson (LCS 6), the first ship of the 10-ship block buy awarded to Austal USA as prime contractor in December 2010, was launched in December 2013 and is preparing for builders trails. Six of the ten vessels are funded per the contract with five under construction at this time.

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 for the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems.

About Austal

Austal is a global defense prime contractor. The Company designs, constructs and maintains revolutionary platforms such as the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) for the U.S. Navy, as well as an extensive range of patrol and auxiliary vessels for defense forces and government agencies globally. Austal also designs, installs, integrates and maintains sophisticated communications, radar and command and control systems.

Austal benefits from its position as a world leader in the design, construction and support of customized, high-performance aluminum vessels for the commercial high-speed ferry market, an achievement gained over a period of nearly 25 years.

Austal’s primary facilities comprise a dedicated defense shipyard in Mobile, Alabama; a dedicated defense shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia; and a dedicated commercial shipyard in Balamban, Philippines. The Company also provides vessel support services from its facilities in the United States, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Systems development, sales and support are coordinated from Austal’s facility in Canberra, Australia. Learn More

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Media – For further information contact:
Terry O’Brien, Vice President of Business Development and External Affairs, Austal USA
Michelle Bowden, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Tel: 251-434-8000, Fax: 251-445-1955