Austal (ASX:ASB) lands second US Navy deal in a week

Company News

by Michael Luu

Austal’s rebound from its two-month lows has received another stimulant, as the company has secured the second consecutive contract with the US Navy this week.

The company has sealed a deal with the world’s second largest naval fleet to design and produce an autonomous control system on a prospective Spearhead-class expeditionary fast vessel.

The contract valued at $57 million involves the development and installation autonomous capability into the USNS Apalachicola. The prospective navy ship will be the thirteenth of its kind and at the disposal of the Military Sealift Command.

The high-speed, shallow draft vessel is designed to rapidly transport conventional or special forces units along with equipment and supplies on time-critical missions.

The vessel is currently being assembled at Austal’s recently revamped Alabama shipyard. The same ship-building facility is also manufacturing the first steel navy ship built by Austal for the US Navy.

Despite falling to second place of the world’s largest naval forces, the Pentagon has highlighted autonomous functionality as a key strategy in its fleet development. The move allows the US Navy to minimise pressure on human resources and optimise advanced naval technologies.

Shares in Austal (ASX:ASB) are trading 1.3 per cent higher $2.34