Austal USA was awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy last week to build an additional Independence-variant littoral combat ship, its 15th ship in the class.
The award of LCS 30 is a sign of the Navyâ€™s confidence in Austalâ€™s LCS program, shipyard officials said. The specific value of the contract comes with a congressional cost cap of $584 million per ship.
The Austal USA LCS aluminum trimaran measures 419'x99'. It is a high-speed combat ship that is designed to combine superior seakeeping, endurance and speed with the volume and payload capacity needed to support emerging missions.
Austal USA employs 4,000 people at its headquarters and ship manufacturing facility in Mobile, Ala., while its supplier network includes over 2,200 businesses across 43 states. Austal delivered two LCS ships in 2016 and one of two in 2017, all under the congressional cost cap.
â€śWeâ€™re honored to be awarded this contract in such a highly competitive environment,â€ť Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said in a prepared statement. â€śThis further supports the Navyâ€™s recognition of Austal as a key component in building their 355-ship fleet, which is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our talented employees and dedicated supplier network."
Construction of LCS 30 is scheduled to begin in 2019.
Austal delivered the future Omaha (LCS 12) to the Navy last month and is scheduled to deliver the expeditionary fast transport City of Bismarck (EPF 9) before the end of the year.
â€śWhether weâ€™re supporting our delivered ships in San Diego or Singapore, the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, we continue hearing positive feedback from the fleet commanders on the value and effectiveness of our LCS and EPF,â€ť said Perciavalle. â€śWe remain dedicated to building these ships safely, timely and with the quality and craftsmanship our customers have come to know and expect from Austal.â€ť
EPFs are providing valuable humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to both Florida and Puerto Rico in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Maria.