Shipbuilding News, July 2013

Austal lays keel for 4th Littoral Combat Ship

Austal USA held a keel-laying ceremony for the fourth Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Montgomery (LCS 8) on June 25. This is the second LCS of 10 awarded by the U.S. Navy to Austal, as prime contractor.

Mary Blackshear Sessions, the ship sponsor, was present to weld her initials onto the keel plate as the Keel Authenticator. She was assisted by Kyle Hinton, a welder who has been part of the Austal team since November 2011.

A traditional keel-laying ceremony marks the first significant milestone in the construction of the ship. Due to Austal’s modular approach to ship manufacturing, 36 of the 37 modules used to form this 416-foot aluminum trimaran have already been completed. For Austal, keel-laying marks the beginning of final assembly. Four modules have been moved from Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF). Two are erected in the final assembly bay in their pre-launch position. The rest will follow over the coming months.

During his address to the guests, Craig Perciavalle, Austal USA president said Montgomery will be a revolutionary naval combatant; a cost-effective ship with incredible speed, mobility, flexibility and firepower that will serve the nation well across the globe, during times of both peace and war.

Austal is the prime contractor for a $3.5 billion contract with the U.S. Navy to build 10 416-foot Independence-variant LCS class vessels. Austal is also the prime contractor for a $1.6 billion contract to build 10 337-foot Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSV), two of which have already been delivered to the Navy.

For the LCS and JHSV programs, Austal is teamed with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics. For the JHSV program, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems. As the Independence-variant LCS ship systems integrator, General Dynamics is responsible for the design, integration and testing of the ship, sea frame control, navigation and communication systems, C4I and aviation systems.

Crowley Solutions Group to expand presence in Asia Pacific Market

Jacksonville, Fla.-based Crowley Maritime Corp. Solutions Group announced on June 26 the opening of a new project management office in Singapore where the company is building two new heavy-lift deck cargo barges for dedicated use in the region. The company has an option for the construction of two additional barges. Crowley's expansion will allow the company to better support customers in the oil and gas mining, engineering, construction and procurement management, installation and commissioning industries who are increasingly embarking on large-scale onshore and offshore projects. These industries require additional support and resources including full-service project management and logistics solutions.  

“This move not only allows us to broaden our geographical reach, but will also allow for more efficient turnkey solutions within the areas in which our customers are focused,” said Craig Tornga, Crowley’s vice president of solutions. “It is also important for us to be able to support the operation and market growth with dedicated equipment, which is why we are investing in the construction of two new barges for the region.”  

The group’s two new 400-foot-long and 120-foot-wide heavy-lift deck barges (HBD), to be named HDB 01 and HDB 02, will be positioned in Batam, Indonesia, to support customers with marine projects. The barges will have 25-foot side shells, which provide both the capacity and deck strength needed to accommodate larger drilling and production units used for deepwater offshore energy exploration and development. Additionally, the HDB series are designed with more robust ballast systems to deal with high tidal ranges found in the region’s load and discharge ports, and with the internal strength to withstand setting on the bottom of the seabed while loaded.

The barges will be ABS-classed, with an approximate dead weight capacity of 20,000 metric tons. Both were designed by Crowley's naval architecture and mariner engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime and are currently under construction in China. They are scheduled for delivery in early 2014. The exact address of the new office in Singapore is being determined and will be announced later this year.

Jensen designed ASD line-haul tugs delivered to Hyak Maritime

Jensen Maritime Consultants of Seattle, Wash. announced on July 3 the delivery of Hawaii, the first of two 120-foot by 35-foot by 19-foot Jensen-designed ABS class oceangoing tugboats, to Hyak Maritime, a marine equipment and vessel owner based in Dover, Del. Hawaii was built by JT Marine of Vancouver, Wash. Hyak’s second tug, Washington, is scheduled for delivery by the end of the year.

Both vessels are based on the Titan-class tugboats, which Jensen developed in collaboration with Western Towboat, a Seattle-based tug and barge company. Western Towboat, which continues to own and operate these tugboats, has been so pleased with the design that it is currently constructing its seventh Jensen-designed, Titan-class tugboat.

The tugs will be powered by twin GE 8L250 EPA Tier 2 engines, each rated at 2,679 hp/1,999 kW at 900 rpm. They are ABS Maltese Cross A1, towing service, machinery classed and will consume significantly less fuel and incur lower maintenance costs than other equivalently powered oceangoing tugboats. Measuring 497 international tons and 91 regulatory tons, the tugs are qualified to sail in all U.S and worldwide waters with the smallest possible crew. They are fitted with a pair of Schottel 1515 Z-drive units for maneuverability of tows in port and in close quarters. Living spaces are acoustically dampened and fireproofed using the NORAC and Danacoustic systems, ensuring crew comfort and safety.

A new fireboat for the Port of Houston

MetalCraft Marine of Cape Vincent, N.Y., and Kingston, Ontario, announced in late May delivery of the first of three new fireboats to the Port of Houston Authority.

The FireStorm 70 is a state-of-the-art command center and high-speed response vessel powered by four inboard diesels to propel the vessel at a top speed of 45 knots. This improvement in speed is important when providing fire protection for the 25-mile-long Port of Houston. The new fireboats are very maneuverable, can make quick stops and change direction within three boat lengths.

Part firehouse, part fireboat, the vessel enables the crew to stay on station for extended periods. The cabin includes a primary care berth with four secondary berths in the cuddy. Portable berths can be positioned in the aft equipment cabin to handle the injured at an incident.

The boat’s firefighting pumps can deliver 13,600 gallons per minute to its monitors along with 17,000 gallons per minute delivery to a roof-mounted Stang monitor. These discharge rates are three times the discharge rate of any of the current Port Authority fireboats.

As a shore hydrant, the FireStorm 70 can pump 7,000 gallons per minute through 1,000 feet of hose from a 5-inch Storz outlet before staging pumps are required.

Each fireboat is 70 feet, 10 inches long with a beam of 22 feet, 10 inches and a draft of 2.8 feet.

By Professional Mariner Staff