Austal One of Five in Running for Navy’s New Expeditionary LSTs
Austal– who has been making 417-foot Independence-class littoral combat ships (the ones that actually kind of work) and 337-foot Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport (EPF) vessel at their U.S. location in Mobile, Alabama– is one of the companies that has been greenlighted to work up plans for the Navy’s new Light Amphibious Warfare (LAW) ship, envisioned to shuttle around little groups of Marines around contested Pacific atolls and islets to give China heartburn in time of conflict there.
Austal Limited (Austal) (ASX: ASB) is pleased to announce Austal USA has been awarded a concept studies and preliminary design contract by the United States Navy (USN) for the Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program.
The USN’s new Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) program envisions procuring a class of 28 to 30 new amphibious ships to support the Marine Corps, particularly in implementing a new Marine Corps operational concept called Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO). The Navy envisions the first LAW being procured in FY2023.
LAW will provide US Naval forces a manoeuvre and sustainment capability to conduct littoral and amphibious operations. The medium-sized landing ships are expected to be approximately 60 to 120 metres length overall (LOA) with an ability to embark at least 75 US Marines with approximately 370 – 740 square metres of cargo area to transport the Marines’ weapons, equipment, and supplies to the beach or austere ports.
Austal USA is one of five companies approached by the US Navy to develop LAW concept designs, with a follow-on option for preliminary design. A single shipyard is expected to be down-selected for a detailed design and construction contract by the end of the third quarter of CY2022.
Austal Limited Chief Executive Paddy Gregg said the contract allows Austal USA to continue developing LAW designs to meet US Navy requirements and further strengthens the company’s position to construct steel ships for the US Navy in the future.
“Austal USA is well placed to pursue this Light Amphibious Warship opportunity, with a proven capability to deliver multiple naval shipbuilding programs and new steel manufacturing facilities now under construction,” Mr Gregg said.
“The Austal USA team will continue to develop their concept designs and ultimately provide a highly capable and cost effective LAW solution for the US Navy.”