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Austal hoping to build on US military success

Austal hoping to build on US military success

Sydney: Australian-based shipbuilding group Austal reports that its WestPac Express high speed vessel has notched up five years' continuous service for the Okinawa-based Third Marine Expeditionary Force of the US Marine Corps. The milestone was marked by a special military ceremony in which the Marines' Brig Gen Peter J Talleri paid tribute to the performance of the HSV, citing a recent exercises where it carried men and vehicles that previously it would have taken 16 Hercules C-17 aircraft to perform. Separately, Austal has a contract jointly with General Dynamics to build a trimaran prototype that will compete with a Lockheed monohull design for the US Navy's new-generation Littoral Combat Ship requirement, where some 50-60 ships will be eventually built. Austal is building the trimaran platform at its US base in Mobile, Alabama. It currently has one trimaran in service, with Fred Olsen Ferries in the Canary Island, where very good sea-keeping results are reported. [30/10/06]

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