AUSTAL DIVERSIFIES INTO AUTONOMOUS SHIPS, INCLUDING ZERO-CARBON SURVEY VESSEL

Jan 17, 2023 | Shipbuilding & ship repair news

Western Australia-headquartered Austal has issued news of a number of contracts that it has secured, mainly for the group’s US company.

The contracts are said to further diversify Austal’s revenue base, while providing the company with significant long-term growth opportunities, which leverage Austal’s core shipbuilding, support, and advanced technologies expertise.

The new agreements include;

  • An arrangement with the US Navy to resolve the detail design for three Emergency Medical Ships
  • Partnership with L3Harris Technologies to construct and modify autonomous capabilities in support of the US Navy’s USV Programme
  • Concept design for the US Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSV)
  • Appointment as the exclusive manufacturer of Saildrone’s wind and solar-powered Surveyor USV
  • A trial with the Royal Australian Navy to develop the PBAT Sentinel patrol boat for autonomous operation
  • Partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat to train Austal personnel in the manufacture of systems for US Navy nuclear submarines
  • A contract with Newport News Shipbuilding in the USA to fabricate aluminium aircraft elevators for two US Navy aircraft carriers

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “The new contracts and partnerships demonstrate our growing capabilities across a broad range of naval shipbuilding and support programs in Australia and the US, as we increasingly diversify our revenue base and expand our future growth pathways. This is all underpinned by our modern and agile shipyards that can build in steel and aluminium, small to large vessels, and conventional crewing or autonomous capability. Our shipbuilding capacity is complemented by our expanded advanced technology efforts in autonomy and additive manufacturing. Over the longer-term, our expanding and diversified shipbuilding pipeline has the strong potential to cascade through to our support business, taking us another step forward towards our annual revenue target of $500 million from the support segment by FY2027. Buoyed by a robust cash balance, we have the financial muscle to continue to invest in the future and achieve long-term profitable growth.”

In the US, Austal is commencing production under a partnership with Saildrone to be the exclusive manufacturer of the company’s Surveyor uncrewed surface vehicle (USV). The 20m (65ft) autonomous USVs are designed for deep ocean mapping and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications, above and below the surface. The USVs are wind and solar-powered, aligning with Austal’s growing focus on sustainability.

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