Austal has won a US$125 million order from an undisclosed customer in the Middle East for the design, construction and integrated logistics support of two so-called High-Speed Defence Support Vessels (HSSVs).
The 72m HSSVs will be deployed on similar missions to the 103m Joint High Speed Vessels currently being produced for the US Navy at Austal’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama. Its roles include rapid deployment of military personnel and equipment, helicopter operations and search and rescue.
Austal has a number of customers for their commercial fast ferries in the Gulf region. However, the size and design of the HSSVs most resembles their Auto Express 69 class catamarans in service with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These can carry up to 650 passengers, 50 cars and 15 lorries.