MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Mobile shipbuilder Austal has received another contract from the U.S. Navy, the second within a week. This one is a $44m contract to design automation for one of the EPF Fast Transport ships the company currently builds for the Navy.
Austal will establish the fast transport USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13) as an autonomous prototype. The design and construction would include making the ship capable of being used autonomously while retaining the capability for manned operation.
Austal USA Interim President Rusty Murdaugh said, “The potential of the EPF to operate unmanned opens the door to a range of new missions for the EPF ranging from logistics support to mine warfare and strike operations using vertical launch systems (VLS).”
Days ago, Austal received another contract from the Navy to design the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS). The $3.6m contract would open the door for Austal to begin the construction of steel ships. The company broke ground in March on a new facility to construct steel ships.