Thursday, August 21, 2008

Updated Pragmatic Forecast for HSF, JHSV, LCS, etc.

Not everybody will follow these numbers. I am updating this forecast mainly because it has become apparent that the "hawks" have gotten to Obama, and so the future for JHSV and LCS is a little bit more favorable, although not what their builders might hope for. The future prospects for JHSV and LCS could be worse than this outlook, but do not believe it will be any more favorable than this forecast.

Because the DoD has allocated such a significant sum of grant funds for Austal's Modular Manufacturing Facility (MMF), it is now believed Austal will be a part of the contracts for both the JHSV and the LCS, even under a more hawkish Obama or McCain. This appears to be so even though Austal's designs are fuel inefficient and the aluminium hull designs have been called into question for the rigors of military service. Therefore, it is also believed that Lockheed Martin with the LCS and Bollinger Incat USA with the JHSV may also get about half of those respective construction contracts.

The total number expected here of JHSV's to be built will be 5 to 10 for the DoD. Austal USA may get 4 to 5 of those. Bollinger Incat USA may get the other 4 to 5.

The total number expected here of LCS's to be built will be 10 to 20, not the prior planned 55. Lockheed Martin already has an order for 4 from Israel. Lockheed Martin can expect to have at least 3 to 4 more ordered by DoD. Austal can expect to have 5 to 7 ordered by DoD. This is the most, if even this, that the U.S. government will be able to budget for LCS.

Here are the lastest videos of what Austal's LCS competition looks like at high speed:

Austal will fill in missed LCS orders with 50+ fast patrol boat orders from the Navy, Coast Guard, Caribbean nations, Taiwan, etc.

Austal is building HSF's second vessel. The most that HSF will be able to operate is 2 to 3 vessels. Those will eventually be sold to the Army/Navy when commercial operations are no longer viable.

Until that eventuality, HSF may attempt service to Oahu, Kahului, Kawaihae, Kaunakakai, Hana, and Lihue. Kaunakakai and Hana will involve the seeking of existing state and federal funding.

Kauai officials should demand additional state and federal funding for infrastructure of roads, water, wastewater, and renewable energy electricity projects directly or indirectly before entertaining any such further associations on this matter.

Aloha, Brad

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