Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Reuters covers LCS design problems...and the losers plan their appeal

Problems revealed with both LCS designs:

Congressional report cites problems with LCS ships
General Dynamics won a contract for LCS-4, based on an aluminum trimarin design by Austal (ASB.AX) on May 1, 2009, or 10 months ago...
And the losers are already planning their appeal:

Editorial: LCS award won't be endgame
Press-Register - al.com
Defense industry analysts say that both sides, Austal USA in Mobile and Lockheed Martin ... Whether Austal wins or loses the order for up to 10 new ships...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Poor Losers...Handwriting is on the Wall

From: http://blog.al.com/live/2010/03/analysts_lcs_contract_decision.html

"Analysts: LCS contract decision could be contested"
by Sean Reilly March 28, 2010

WASHINGTON -- By the Navy's calendar, a winner-take-all order for up to 10 new littoral combat ships is supposed to be awarded this summer, with Mobile-based Austal USA's future prospects heavily staked to the outcome.

But that award may not be the end of the story, according to outside analysts...

"It's just too important a program for both sides," said Jay Korman, a principal at The Avascent Group, a Washington, D.C., consulting firm...

Bids are due April 12, with a decision to follow in June or July, according to Sean Stackley, the Navy's top weapons buyer.

Representatives of both Austal and Lockheed declined to say what they would do in the event of defeat.

Either, however, could lodge a formal protest with the Government Accountability Office, the federal agency charged with handling contract appeals. The GAO gives itself just over three months to decide a protest, although a request to reconsider its initial ruling can add more time...

>>>Rest of Article>>>

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tit for tat, gettin' nasty...'Bama LCS folks not happy about losing

Richard Shelby, Herb Kohl trade fire at Senate LCS hearing | al.com
By Sean Reilly
Herb Kohl, D-Wis., countered by labeling Austal's aluminum trimaran design "radical" and suggested that its version of the LCS would be more expensive to maintain than a traditional steel vessel. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa ... Breaking News from the Press-Register - http://blog.al.com/live/

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

US Navy request raises issue about aluminum ships?

From: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1513314120100316?type=marketsNews

"US Navy request raises issue about aluminum ships"
By Andrea Shalal-Esa Mar 16, 2010

WASHINGTON, March 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy is seeking an analytical tool to predict problems with aluminum-hulled ships just months before it is due to announce the winner of the Littoral Combat Ship competition involving such a ship.

In a little-noticed solicitation posted on a Navy website in January, the Navy said it needed better tools to predict possible cracking on aluminum-hulled ships, especially under difficult conditions at sea. Replies are due by March 24....

Extreme Loading Events

In the solicitation, the Navy said it was facing "great challenges" in picking appropriate analytical tools and validation procedures to assure the performance and integrity of the aluminum ship structure in the presence of "unexpected extreme loading events" such as wave-slamming....

>>>Rest of Article>>>

Nice piece of reporting. As background listen to the second audio link that says “click here” at:

http://disappearednews.com/2008/04/secon d-program-on-alleged-superferry.html

It’s the rest of the story. Helps to explain what the Navy might be looking at.

Also, here's a video to remind our readers what "deck-slamming" looks and sounds like:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Marinette: "When we win the fiscal year 2010 ships for LCS"

"We're going to win (the LCS contract) on cost," Moosally said. "This is basically a price shootout."

From: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20100313/GPG03/3130574/1247/Marinette-Marine-breaks-ground-on-large-ship-facility

"Marinette Marine breaks ground on large ship facility"
Fincantieri Marine Group plans $100 million investment in area operations
BY NATHAN PHELPS • March 13, 2010

MARINETTE — Marinette Marine Corp. broke ground Friday for the expansion of its large ship erection building.

Company leaders say this is part of a $100 million investment in Marinette Marine and other area operations aimed at securing contracts that will help stabilize the work force at the shipyard — such as the Navy's Littoral Combat Ship.

(The expansion) "is to improve our production efficiency and make us more productive and more competitive in the marketplace," said Fred Moosally, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marine Group, which includes Bay Shipbuilding Co. in Sturgeon Bay and ACE Marine in Green Bay. "When we win the fiscal year 2010 ships for LCS, that's a winner take all with 10 ships … and it will really stabilize the work force."...

"We're going to win (the LCS contract) on cost," Moosally said. "This is basically a price shootout." >>>Full Article>>>

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Austal to showcase vessels at China Maritime

From: http://www.bairdmaritime.com

Wednesday, 03 March 2010

Austal will be showcasing its range of high speed, lightweight aluminium vessels at China Maritime 2010, to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, March 16 - 18.

...Also of interest to many of the region's navies, coast guards and maritime security agencies will be Austal's range of high speed defence platforms, including police vessels, patrol vessels, combat ships and high speed support vessels.

On display will be Austal's latest 47.5-metre passenger catamaran ferry, 21 of which are currently servicing the growing demand generated from the Hong Kong to Macao route.

Also on display will be a model of Austal's 102-metre next generation trimaran, which is currently nearing completion at Austal's Western Australian shipyard and is available for purchase... >>>Rest of Article>>>

Saturday, March 6, 2010

GD and Austal Split Up To Bid on LCS

Austal is trying to characterize this in a positive light for them, but thinking about it from a number of interations, this is mostly positive for GD and later bids in this process, and not so much for an unproven solo prime contractor building the significantly more expensive version of LCS. Three articles about it referenced below:

"GD and Austal Split Up To Bid on LCS"
By Christopher P. Cavas Mar. 4, 2010

Shipbuilding partners Austal USA and General Dynamics have agreed to revoke their teaming arrangement on the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program - a move that positions Austal to bid as a prime contractor on this year's bid for 10 LCS ships for the U.S. Navy, and allows GD to go after another five ships to be awarded in 2012... >>>Rest of Article>>>

"Austal, General Dynamics part ways on LCS"
By Jeff Amy March 05, 2010

MOBILE, Ala. -- Austal USA and General Dynamics Corp. said Thursday that they're parting ways in the competition to build littoral combat ships for the U.S. Navy, a move that could give both sides advantages as they seek future contracts... >>>Rest of Article>>>

"Maine, Alabama shipyards end teaming arrangement"
by (AP) March 5, 2010

BATH, Maine — Maine's Bath Iron Works and Alabama's Austal USA are ending their partnership, allowing Austal to compete on its own for the next contract to build fast and agile warships for the Navy.

...In 2012, the Navy plans to award another five-ship contract that must go to a different builder. By breaking up their team, Bath Iron Works would be able to bid on the second contract... >>>Rest of Article>>>

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Tab rises another $218,000, to tow barge out of Kahului harbor

From: http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100304/NEWS03/3040325

"Hawaii's tab for Superferry rises another $218,000, to tow barge" out of Maui harbor
By David Waite Advertiser Staff Writer Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hawai'i taxpayers aren't done yet paying for the failed Superferry project.

The state Department of Transportation's Harbors Division has awarded a $218,000 contract to Healy Tibbitts Builders Inc. to tow a state-owned barge, which had been used to load vehicles on and off the now-defunct interisland ferry, from Maui's Kahului Harbor to Honolulu...>>>Rest of Article>>>

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Supposed "H4" documents floating around

There are some documents floating around from an individual and private entity with a supposed Arabic investor that profess to be interested in finishing the E.I.S. Their "due diligence" research so far looks very remedial. In particular the H4.pdf attachment in that packet looks unprofessional and fake to me. Joan Conrow writes about the package here. I'll wait before I post anything more about it.

Doesn't make a lot of sense that the State House would be passing a bill to study the State owning such a ferry (crossed over to the Senate today) and at the same time a private investor would be proposing to finish the E.I.S. for and to run such a ferry.

One of 'em's got to be off. Maybe the "H4 Team" is real and Souki is just real 'slow'. Or maybe the "H4 Team" is a fake and Souki is just real 'slow'...