Recently, US Senator Jeff Sessions joined Austal, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems and General Dynamics Bath Iron Works personnel in completing the Combat Systems Light Off milestone in the second Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship, Coronado (LCS 4).
Senator Sessions operated the 57mm gun from the bridge of LCS 4 and he was able to demonstrate the gun’s ability to target another ship and track its progress. This milestone signifies that Coronado’s advanced computer, weapon and sensor systems are operational and ready for commencement of formal Combat Systems test and certification process cycle.
Upon completion of this significant milestone, Austal USA Interim President / Chief Financial Officer, Brian Leathers, commented, “I am encouraged to see how smoothly things are moving along on the path to sea trials for this vessel. Austal is proud to be a member of the General Dynamics LCS team and we look forward to celebrating the future successes of this shipbuilding program.” Continued Leathers, “I am excited for Senator Sessions to have had the opportunity to witness this occasion on a program he has proven to be such a champion of on the Hill.”
Austal USA is a full-service shipyard offering design, construction and high-speed vessel service and repair. As Austal USA continues to expand its service and repair capabilities, the company is well-positioned for new business with engineering, test and trials capabilities, and a new waterfront facility all co-located on the Mobile Bay waterfront.
Austal is currently under contract with the US Navy to build nine 103-metre Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV) under a 10-ship, US$1.6 billion contract and five 127-metre Independence-variant LCS class ships, four of which are a part of a 10-ship, US$3.5 billion contract.
Austal, prime contractor of the JHSV program and the Independence-variant program for LCS 6 and beyond, is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. As the ship systems integrator, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship’s electronic systems including the combat system, networks, and seaframe control. General Dynamics’ proven open architecture approach allows for affordable and efficient capability growth as technologies develop.
These two contracts will require Austal to increase its Mobile, Alabama workforce to approximately 4,000 employees in order to fulfil the contract requirements.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 6, 2012; Images: austal