2001 Maritime
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July 3, 2001

USMC charters Austal cat
Australia's Austal Limited says it has signed a world first contract with the U.S. Marine Corps to charter a 101 meter high speed Theater Logistics Vessel.

Austal's TLV 101The Theater Logistics Vessel is being chartered by the Third Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF) for the rapid deployment of Marine battalions and equipment in the Western Pacific.

The contract involves an initial proof of concept period of approximately two months but Austal says it is anticipated that this will be extended for a longer period once the vessel demonstrates its ability to meet the Marines' needs.

Austal's managing director, Bob McKinnon, said the Marines considered a number of vessels available from competitors.

"We are extremely proud that Austal was selected by the U.S.military to be the first supplier of a Theater Logistics Vessel," said McKinnon. "Our vessel allows III MEF to rapidly transport a complete battalion of more than 950 marines together with up to 550 tonnes of vehicles and equipment, in one lift, with considerable strategic and cost advantages."
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