Navy places order for LCS 8 with Austal

The U.S. Navy announced today that it has placed an order for the construction of a fourth 127-meter trimaran Independence-Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-8) with Austal at its Mobile, Alabama shipyard.  The contract is valued at a fixed price of US $368.6 million.

LCS-8 is the second ship awarded under the contract between Austal and the U.S. Navy, earmarking the construction of up to 10 ships at a total value in excess of US $3.5 billion.

Construction will commence in January 2012 at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, where construction on LCS 4 is already under way.  Over the course of the next 12 months, Austal will also begin construction of LCS 6, the first vessel awarded under the 10 ship LCS contract.  Once commissioned, the ships will join the Austal-built USS Independence (LCS 2), commissioned in 2010.

For the LCS program, Austal is teamed up with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. General Dynamics is the ship systems integrator, responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s mission systems.

According to Austal, this 10-ship contract is to more than double its U.S. workforce to approximately 3,800 employees.

At Austal’s shipyard work is also underway on additional U.S. Navy and U.S. Army ships including Spearhead (Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) 1), scheduled for launch in mid 2011 and delivery in December 2011, and Vigilant (JHSV 2), scheduled for launch in late 2011 and delivery in mid 2012.  Work work is also said to begin on JHSVs 3, 4 and 5.

Pictured: The Navy’s first trimaran Littoral Combat Ship, the future USS Independence (LCS 2) courtesy Austal