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Austal continues with multiple contracts for Navy unmanned ships

Date: 17 Jan 2023 Author: Chief Editor

Shipbuilding company Austal provided an update about a number of contracts secured in surface marine autonomy including:
🔹partnership with L3Harris Technologies;
🔹concept design for the US Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSV);
🔹 appointment as the exclusive manufacturer of Saildrone, Inc.’s;
🔹 a trial with the Royal Australian Navy to develop ‘PBAT Sentinel’.

🎤 Austal Chief Executive Officer 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.”

🤝 Austal has partnered with L3Harris Technologies in the United States to deliver autonomous capabilities in support of the US Navy’s Overlord Unmanned Surface Vehicle (OUSV) program, which includes the 60-metre modified crewboat design Vanguard OUSV and Mariner OUSVs. Austal is constructing the L3Harris-awarded Vanguard (OUSV 3) in its Mobile, Alabama facility. Additionally, Austal USA will upgrade L3’s Mariner (OUSV 4) with its Machinery Control System that will interface with L3Harris’ ASViewTM. Construction and delivery of OUSV 3 is scheduled to complete in December 2023 while the work program on OUSV 4 is set to be finalised in February 2023.

Austal is also one of six of US Defense contractors who have been engaged to undertake the concept design for the US Navy’s Large Unmanned Surface Vessels (LUSV), involving a prototype of an unmanned ship that is capable of semi-autonomous operation. The LUSV design contract is expected to lead to a competitive tendering of a construction contract as the program develops.

Austal’s EPF-13, the largest US Navy ship to have been successfully operated autonomously, provides the concept of a large autonomous platform capable of executing autonomy missions such as logistics, tendering and adjunct magazine mission profiles and will form the basis of Austal’s design proposal.

🤝 Additionally, in the US, Austal is commencing production under a partnership with Saildrone, Inc. to be the exclusive manufacturer of the company’s ‘Surveyor’ uncrewed surface vehicle (USV). The 65-foot autonomous USVs are designed for deep ocean mapping and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) applications, above and below the surface.

In Australia, Austal is modifying a de-commissioned Armidale-class Patrol Boat (ACPB) to modify, test and evaluate autonomous and remotely operated systems for the Royal Australian Navy. The transformed ACPB will be re-named Patrol Boat Autonomous (PBAT) ‘Sentinel’ and is expected to commence sea trials in October 2023.

📃 Source: Austal
📷 Photo: Saildrone