Australian shipbuilder Austal Limited has been awarded a USD125 million contract to design and construct two naval vessels for an unidentified Middle East customer.

The 72 m High Speed Support Vessels (HSSVs) will be built at Austal’s Henderson Shipyard in Western Australia. According to a statement released by the company on 10 March, construction of the first vessel is expected to commence in 2014, while the second vessel is due to be delivered in 2016.

The HSSVs will be deployed on similar missions as the Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSVs) currently under construction for the US Navy (USN) at the Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.