Larry Ryder, vice president of business development and external affairs at Austal USA, said the company will spend $200 million to modernize its shipbuilding facility and grow vessel repair business operations, Defense News reported Monday.
The Australian military shipbuilder’s U.S. subsidiary intends to convert half of its yard for steel shipbuilding work and the project is currently ahead of the planned April 2022 kickoff, according to the report.
Ryder told the publication that the business is looking to secure contracts to support U.S. Navy and Coast Guard programs “that we believe are right in our wheelhouse in terms of the size of the program, the need for serial production.”
The report noted that only two of Austal’s target programs are set to get funds in fiscal year 2022, with the Navy requesting money for the purchase of just one T-AGOS ship and the Coast Guard planning to award a contract for 11 offshore patrol cutters next fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the Navy’s light amphibious warship and next-generation logistics ship program could begin in fiscal 2023.
With Austal USA’s aluminum production work on littoral combat ships winding down and expeditionary fast transports remaining unclear, Ryder hopes potential awards would help his company avoid downsizing its workforce.