Austal USA, Mobile, Ala., has been awarded a Navy contract with a potential value of $3.2 billion for the detail design and construction of up to seven 356' TAGOS-25-class ocean surveillance ships.
Austal, as the prime contractor, has teamed with L3Harris Technologies (L3Harris), Noise Control Engineering (NCE), TAI Engineering (TAI), and Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors (TMC) for execution of the TAGOS program.
TAGOS ships provide a platform capable of theater anti-submarine acoustic passive and active surveillance. They support the mission of the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) by gathering underwater acoustical data.
“The Austal USA team is excited to support the U.S. Navy with this critical program. We have enjoyed our long partnership with the Navy in delivering aluminum ships, and we are honored to continue that relationship in delivering high-quality steel ships on schedule and on budget,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said in a statement announcing the contract. “This contract award was enabled by our continual focus on our people and our facilities. The Austal USA workforce is proud of our role in providing for the Nation’s defense by delivering these ships to the Navy.”
“As the electronic and propulsion systems integrator, we’re excited to be a partner on the Austal USA team to develop the next class of TAGOS ocean surveillance ships,” said Anthony Nigara, president, maritime, L3Harris. “Our strong partnership with Austal reinforces our commitment to delivering advanced, surveillance-capable platforms to meet the U.S. Navy's mission requirements.”
Through continual capital investments, Austal USA has expanded its capability and capacity to enable concurrent production of aluminum and steel-hulled ships. The award of the TAGOS program follows the recent award of other steel programs to Austal USA including the U.S. Navy Towing and Salvage ship (T-ATS) and Auxiliary Floating Drydock Medium (AFDM) and the U.S. Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC). The company will construct TAGOS using its ship manufacturing processes and production methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction, and moving assembly lines in the company’s enclosed steel production facility.
In addition to the steel ships mentioned previously, Austal USA is currently constructing the Navy’s Independence-variant littoral combat ship and expeditionary fast transport.