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NEW DEFENCE ORDERS FOR AUSTAL

Friday, August 16, 2019 

Austal of Western Australia reports new orders from the United States Department of Defense and the Trinidad and Tobago Government, and has handed over a fourth patrol vessel to the Australian Navy.

Austal's latest contract with the US Department of Defense is worth over US$23 million and covers support activities, including dry docking, on the USS Tulsa. The award of the Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) service contract for the USS Tulsa (LCS 16) is in addition to the US$21 million contract Austal was awarded in January 2019 for the USS Manchester (LCS 14). Both are Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships manufactured by Austal.

“Austal’s sustainment business is continuing to expand as more Austal-designed and constructed naval vessels are delivered into service,” Austal CEO David Singleton said. “And there’s a solid pipeline of vessels still under construction. Construction of a ship takes about two years, whereas sustainment can provide continuing work and regular earnings for Austal for many years, even decades.”

Austal has delivered 10 LCS vessels with a further nine on order, all of which will undergo regular maintenance and dry docking activities to maintain fleet availability during the life of the ship class. Austal USA’s west coast operations, headquartered in San Diego, California, will support the San Diego home-based Independent-variant LCS. Austal has expanded its global services capacity in support of US programs including increased capacity in Mobile, Alabama, and at its Singapore service centre.

Austal's order with the Government of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (GORTT) is to build two Cape Class patrol boats CCPB), to be delivered in the second half of 2020, and the order is worth approximately A$126 million.

Singleton said the award of the contract confirmed an important defence export opportunity for Austal and consequent workflow for the Company’s Henderson operations. “It is important to acknowledge that the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Australian Government were instrumental in the success of this defence export program,” he said. “The RAN, which operates two CCPBs, was an effective advocate of the CCPB capabilities."

The GORTT contract award follows an announcement in July 2018 that the GORTT intended to purchase two CCPB. An interim Schedule Protection Agreement was signed and Austal began construction with a metal cutting ceremony at the Company’s Henderson shipyard in April 2019. Austal originally designed and built 10 CCPBs used by the RAN and Australian Border Force. The 58m all aluminium monohull patrol boats were specifically designed and manufactured to combat the full range of maritime security threats.

Meanwhile, Austal has delivered the fourth Guardian Class Patrol Boat (GCPB) to the Australian Department of Defence. The vessel was gifted by the Government of Australia to the Government of Samoa.

“This is the fourth of 21 Guardian Class vessels that Austal has designed and built for Australia’s Pacific Maritime Security Program. We are very proud to be delivering this program, on time and on budget, that will continue out to 2023,” Singleton said. “These vessels will be supported with ongoing maintenance from Austal’s Service Centre Operations in Cairns and creates opportunities for Austal in the Pacific more broadly.

The Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Program was awarded to Austal in May 2016, with an additional contract option awarded in April 2018 taking the program to 21 vessels valued at more than A$335 million.

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