Austal has announced that its Austal USA unit has been awarded a contract worth a potential US$3.3 billion (A$4.35 billion), for the detailed design and construction of up to 11 cutters. Offshore Patrol (OPC) for the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The first vessel has been contracted by the US Coast Guard, with options for 10 more vessels. Construction is expected to begin in 2023. Construction of the 110-meter OPCs will take place at Austal USA’s new US$100 million steel shipbuilding plant in Mobile, Alabama.
Although the OPC contract was awarded in fiscal year 2023, the contract award will positively impact certain cost assumptions used to calculate Austal’s earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for fiscal year 2022. As a result, Austal expects its FY2022 EBIT to be above the $107 million previously forecast. The company is not yet able to quantify the magnitude of the increase in EBIT and will notify shareholders as soon as the higher EBIT is calculated.
Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said the new contract was the third steel shipbuilding program awarded to Austal USA and acknowledged the shipyard’s increased capacity. “The new United States Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutters are an exceptional opportunity for Austal USA to further demonstrate the shipyard’s new steel shipbuilding capability; based on years of proven construction experience through the delivery of the LCS and EPF programs for the US Navy,” said Gregg. “Offshore Patrol Cutters are a critical capability for United States Homeland Security and the Coast Guard’s most significant acquisition program, and the Austal USA team is very excited and proud to deliver this major program of shipbuilding for the United States.”
Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said, “This contract award is the result of our continued investment in our people and facilities. We are excited for the opportunities this will bring to our local community and our tremendous supplier base, as this program will provide our shipbuilding team with the stability needed for continued growth.
The Coast Guard’s 110-meter steel OPCs provide a capability bridge between the service’s national security cutters, which operate on the high seas, and the smaller, rapid-response cutters which operate closer to shore. The new OPCs are capable of carrying out a variety of missions, including law enforcement, drug and migrant interdiction, and search and rescue operations. With a range of 10,200 nautical miles at 14 knots and an endurance period of 60 days, each OPC will be capable of deploying independently, or as part of task forces, and serving as a mobile command and control for peak operations such as hurricane response. , mass migration incidents and other emergency events. The Cutters will also support Arctic goals by helping to regulate and protect emerging commerce and energy exploration in Alaska.
Austal USA will build the OPC using its proven shipbuilding processes and innovative methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction and moving assembly lines in the new state-of-the-art closed steel production facility. company technology. With the OPC award, Austal USA executes a myriad of shipbuilding programs for the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard; with continuous construction on aluminum Independence-Litoral Combat Ship (LCS) variant and Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport (T-EPF) and steel-hulled programs Navajo-Tow, Salvage and Salvage (T-ATS) and Auxiliary Floating Drydock Medium class vessels under contract to the United States Navy.