Austal USA begins work on $91M contract

Works starts on first of three LCUs

Moments after Marine Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl pushed the start button, he and Austal Deputy Program Manager Brandon Hanson watch the Austal plasma cutter begin work on a new Landing Craft Utility being built at the Mobile shipyard.

Work began Wednesday on the first of three U.S. Navy Landing Craft Utility (LCU) being built at Austal USA in Mobile — the first work under a $91.3 million contract awarded in September.

“The LCU provides strategic value and versatility to the Navy-Marine Corps team,” said U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Karsten S. Heckl, who was on hand for the event. “These landing craft will significantly enhance our sea-based Marine Air-Ground Task Forces and Marine Expeditionary Units, providing them with unparalleled flexibility, and the capability to maneuver Marines, sailors and equipment in environments unreachable by other means.”

Dave Growden, Austal’s vice president of new construction programs, added, “Having General Heckl join the Austal USA team today in honor of this milestone sends a strong message on the critical role this platform plays in supporting expeditionary operations for the Navy and Marine Corps. We are excited to roll these vessels down the assembly line and into the fleet.”

The LCU are carried on amphibious assault ships, then used to deliver vehicles, personnel and cargo between ship and shore.

The craft are being built on Austal’s steel shipbuilding line, which went into production two years ago. The company’s aluminum line also continues to build ships.

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