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Austal Secures Major U.S. Navy Contract for Expeditionary Medical Ships.

| 2023

On December 22, 2023, Austal Limited announced that its American subsidiary, Austal USA, has been awarded a substantial contract by the United States Navy. Valued at US$867.6 million (approximately A$1.28 billion), this contract is for the final design and construction of three Expeditionary Medical Ships (EMS).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Expeditionary Medical Ship (EMS) is a high-speed aluminum catamaran based on the proven Expeditionary Fast Transport design that offers enhanced medical support to the United States Navy. (Picture source Austal )

The EMS (Expeditionary Medical Ship), a new variant of the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) ship, showcases Austal’s commitment to innovation and excellence in naval design and construction. These ships are set to be built in Austal USA’s state-of-the-art aluminum manufacturing facility, following the completion of the last EPF unit.

Paddy Gregg, the Chief Executive Officer of Austal Limited, expressed enthusiasm over this new venture, noting that the contract allows for the finalization of detailed designs and the commencement of construction on the three vessels. He emphasized that the EMS represents an evolution of the EPF platform, equipped to facilitate more complex medical procedures and operations at sea.

The design of the EMS is tailored for medical efficacy and operational flexibility. It includes features like patient holding and stabilization capabilities, evacuation, and transport functions in support of Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO). The ship’s shallow draft is a strategic advantage, enabling access to austere ports, and its flight deck is compatible with various military aircraft, including the V-22 Osprey and CH-53K heavy-lift cargo helicopter.

This contract marks a continuation of Austal USA’s impressive track record with the U.S. Navy, having already delivered 13 EPF ships. The company is also gearing up to deliver the first EPF Flight II ship, the future USNS Cody (EPF 14), which boasts enhanced medical capabilities, with two more Flight II vessels currently under construction.

This latest agreement not only solidifies Austal’s position as a key player in naval shipbuilding but also enhances the U.S. Navy's capacity to provide rapid, efficient, and effective medical and surgical support globally. The announcement, approved for release by CEO Paddy Gregg, further cements Austal’s reputation for delivering cutting-edge naval solutions and contributes significantly to its portfolio of specialized military vessels.

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