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Type Public company
Traded as ASXASB
Industry Shipbuilding
Founded 1988 (1988)
Headquarters Henderson, Western Australia
Products Aluminium commercial and defence vessels
Employees 2401
Divisions Austal USA

Austal is an Australian company that specialises in the design and construction of aluminium vessels.[1] Its main products include passenger and freight ferries, luxury yachts and military vessels.

Austal has three production facilities, one of them on the Australian mainland in Henderson, Western Australia, one in Balamban, Cebu in the Philippines and one in Mobile, Alabama in United States.

In November 2011, Austal acquired its shipyard in the West Cebu Industrial Park in the Philippines as part of a strategy to regionalise its manufacturing base for commercial vessels. Austal is currently making significant investments to further enhance the shipyard's capabilities, and construction of the first vessel is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2012.[2]


Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)[edit]

Rear view of the USS Independence

In October 2005, Austal/General Dynamics was awarded a contract to build the first unit from its design for a Littoral Combat Ship. The keel of the future USS Independence was laid on 19 January 2006 at Austal USA's yard in Mobile, Alabama, and the naming ceremony was held on 4 October 2008.[3] It is now operating with the fleet at its current location in Norfolk, Virginia.[4]

The LCS 2 was the first ship built by Austal USA for the US Navy and the Navy's first Trimaran Littoral Combat Ship. It is the first naval warship constructed in Mobile, Alabama since World War II. The basis of Austal's seaframe design is the 127-metre trimaran hull Benchijigua Express.

The originally planned second Austal/GD ship (LCS-4) was cancelled on 1 November 2007.[5]

On 1 May 2009, the Navy renewed the contract with Austal/GD to build the second LCS, the USS Coronado, with delivery scheduled for May 2012.[6]

Highspeed 5 of Hellenic Seaways in the port of Ios

On 29 December 2010 the U.S Navy, as per its 3 November 2010 decision to award contracts for Littoral Combat Ships to both Austal USA and Lockheed Martin, announced a new contract with Austal USA (who had separated from General Dynamics Bath Iron Works[7]). The contract called for one ship to be built beginning in 2010 (the USS Jackson), one to be built in 2011 (the USS Montgomery), and two per year from 2012 to 2015. The contract for the LCS 6 was for $432 million with a goal of having the average ship cost be $352 million per. Another $20 million was figured in for change orders, and a "management reserve" is included.[8]

Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV)[edit]

MV WestPac Express

In November 2008, Austal was awarded a contract to design and build the US military's next-generation high-speed catamaran, multi-use platform, the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV), as part of a program potentially worth over US$1.6 billion.

As Prime contractor, Austal was to design and construct the first 103-metre JHSV, with options for 9 additional vessels expected to be exercised between FY09 and FY13. Construction on the second ship started in September 2010. Austal now has contracts for three ships, long-lead material contracts for two ships and options for five further ships, for a total of ten.[9]

The new JHSV is similar to the Austal-built WestPac Express, which the US Marines have used since 2002.

HMAS Armidale at Darling Harbour

The JHSV will be able to carry 700 short tons (including M1 Abrams main battle tanks) 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots (65 km/h) and be able to unload at roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities. It will be 103 meters long, 28.5 meters beam with a crew of 22 to 40.[10]

The first four will be named USNS Spearhead, USNS Choctaw County, USNS Millinocket and USNS Fall River.[11][12]

While the JHSV can carry 300 Marines and their gear for up to four days, it is not expected to be survivable against enemy attack.[13]

Navy planners envision building up to two dozen of the JHSV ships over the next decade.[14]

Armidale Class Patrol Boats[edit]

Between June 2005 and February 2008, Austal delivered fourteen 56.8-metres (186 ft) Armidale class patrol boats to the Royal Australian Navy for coastal defence. These vessels were featured on the TV series Sea Patrol.

Yemen Navy patrol boats[edit]

The MS Villum Clausen was built and delivered in 2000 to Bornholmstrafikken on the Danish island of Bornholm.

In 2005 Austal delivered ten high-speed patrol boats to the Yemen Navy, which are now hired out (with active duty Navy and Coast Guard crews) to protect private shippers.[15][16]

P21 Class Patrol Boats[edit]

The Maltese patrol boat P24.

In 2009 the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta ordered four patrol boats from Austal.[17] They were due to replace the Swift-class patrol boats P23 and P24 which had been in commission since 1971 and the Bremse-class patrol boat P32 which had been in commission since 1992. The new vessels were built to Maltese specifications and were partly financed by the EU.[18]

The first two vessels were launched in October 2009.[19][20] All four vessels were delivered to Malta in late 2009, and were officially commissioned on 18 March 2010.[21]

The vessels are armed with machine guns and they mount a firefighting water cannon on the aft fly bridge. They are mainly used for search and rescue purposes, border patrol and to rescue illegal immigrants.

Cape Class Patrol Boats[edit]

Austal was awarded the contract for the design, construction and through-life support of the Cape class patrol boats for the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service in August 2011. The eight 58-metre aluminium monohulls are due to be delivered between March 2013 and August 2015.

The support contract extends for a minimum period of eight years and encompasses a full range of intermediate and depot level maintenance activities. Further options can be exercised by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for In-Service Support for the life of the Cape Class Patrol Boat Fleet.

Commercial and leisure vessels[edit]

An Austal 48 for New World First Ferry in Hong Kong and Macau

Austal has designed and built a range of commercial and leisure vessels, including passenger and vehicle-passenger ferries, offshore crewboats, private and commercial liveaboard vessels and cruise vessels.

On August 20, 2014, Austal announced the sale of “Austal Hull 270”, the Company’s 102-meter trimaran stock vessel, to the U.K. Channel Islands’ ferry operator, Condor Ferries, for A$61.5 million. Additionally, modifications to the stock vessel are valued at approximately A$6 million, and is scheduled to enter service in the Spring 2015. [22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Austal Career Opprotunities
  2. ^ "Austal to Commence Production in the Philippines". 17 February 2012. 
  3. ^ "Navy Christens Littoral Combat Ship Independence". U.S. Department of Defense. 10 January 2008. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "U.S.Navy Press Release No. 1269-07" (Press release). 1 November 2007. Archived from the original on 4 November 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  6. ^ "Navy orders second LCS from Austal". 
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Austal starts work on 2nd high-speed military transport ship
  10. ^ JHSV vs. LCS
  11. ^ Construction Commences on First Navy Joint High Speed Vessel
  12. ^ "Austal Celebrates Keel Laying for JHSV2 – the "Choctaw County"". Austal. 8 November 2011. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Austal to build JHSVs for U.S. Navy
  14. ^ Cavas, Christopher P. "JHSV Module Damaged at Ala. Shipyard." Defense News, 14 June 2011
  15. ^ "Austal to Build 10 Naval Patrol Boats for Yemen."
  16. ^ Knickmeyer, Ellen. "The Privateers of Yemen." Foreign Policy Magazine, 17 November 2010
  17. ^ "Visit to Australia by Republic of Malta Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs The Hon Dr Tonio Borg". Australian Government - Department of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 17 April 2009. 
  18. ^ ""Excellent Relationship" Sees Rapid Patrol Boat Construction". Austal. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  19. ^ "New AFM patrol boats launched". Times of Malta. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  20. ^ "Austal Launches Maltese Patrol Boats". Austal. 6 October 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  21. ^ "Patrol boats to be commissioned on Thursday". Times of Malta. 16 March 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "Sale of Stock Boat "Austal Hull 270", and Customisation Contract Award". 

External links[edit]