Mobile’s Austal USA facility lost its bid to build a new ship for the U.S.Navy, the company confirmed in a statement Thursday evening, acknowledging it had lost a $1.3 billion contract to build a new guided missile frigate, CEO Craig Perciavalle said in the statement.
“Despite our extreme disappointment over this outcome, we have a portfolio of other opportunities that we continue to pursue in addition to our backlog of [Expeditionary Fast Transports] and [Littoral Combat Ships] work that extends through 2024, including EPF variants and unmanned surface vessels,” he said. “We have great facilities and an even greater workforce and we are committed to continuing to build highly capable and cost effective ships for the U.S. Navy.”
Instead of Austal, the Navy awarded the contract to Marinette Marine Corporation in Marinette, Wisconsin, according to a Navy statement.
“The Navy’s Guided-Missile Frigate (FFG(X)) will be an important part of our future fleet,” Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Mike Gilday,” said in a statement. “FFG(X) is the evolution of the Navy’s Small Surface Combatant with increased lethality, survivability, and improved capability to support the National Defense Strategy across the full range of military operations. It will no doubt help us conduct distributed maritime operations more effectively, and improve our ability to fight both in contested blue-water and littoral environments.”
The Navy released the FFG(X) DD&C Request for Proposals to industry on June 20, 2019. Technical proposals were received in August 2019 and cost proposals were received in September 2019. This was a full and open competition with multiple offers received.
Sen. Doug Jones, D-Mountain Brook, member of the Armed Services Committee, said he was “disappointed” in the decision not to award the contract to Austal.
“Austal is the only U.S. shipbuilder providing ships to the Navy on time and on budget right now,” the statement read. It is my understanding that this award is for the first 10 of a potential 20-ship buy, and I am confident that if Austal chooses to compete for future awards, the Navy will find Austal to be the best choice.”
In a statement, Mayor Sandy Stimpson said his office was “disappointed,” but “respected” the Navy’s decision.
“Austal is more than just a great shipbuilder, they are also a great corporate citizen and their skilled workforce is a true national asset,” he said in the statement. “Their future remains bright in Mobile.”
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