Austal's Mobile, Alabama USA manufacturing facilities last week hosted a visit by the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus.
Secretary Mabus was joined by U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, Congressman Jo Bonner, Austal USA President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Rella, and Mobile Mayor Sam Jones in formally announcing the names that have been selected for the first two Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) of the recently awarded 10-ship contract to Austal. LCS 6 will be named USS Jackson and LCS 8 will be named USS Montgomery.
Secretary Mabus announced the names during his meeting with approximately 600 Austal production employees, with the LCS Independence-class, Coronado (LCS 4), under construction in the background.
The U.S. Navy announced last week a fixed price incentive contract for the construction of a fourth 127-metre trimaran Independence-Class Littoral Combat Ship (LCS 8) valued at $368.6 million.
This is the second ship awarded under Austal's recent U.S. Navy contract for construction of up to an additional 10 Littoral Combat Ships to be appropriated in the following five years, with a total value in excess of $3.5 billion. Once commissioned, these 10 ships will join the Austal-built USS Independence (LCS 2) which was commissioned in January 2010.
This 10-ship contract will require Austal to more than double its Mobile, Alabama workforce to approximately 3,800 employees in order to fulfil the contracts currently awarded.
Mr. Rella commented that Austal were honoured to be visited by Secretary Mabus.
"Secretary Mabus' commitment to the LCS and Joint High Speed Vessel Programs is stronger than ever. The employees of Austal and the citizens of these two great cities were granted a Naval legacy that history has yet to write."
"Austal is proud to build these great ships, and proud to be a part of this legacy," concluded Mr Rella.
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