The West

Austal chief executive Andrew Bellamy. Picture: Gerald Moscarda/The West Australian.
Austal chief executive Andrew Bellamy. Picture: Gerald Moscarda/The West Australian.

Shipbuilder Austal has won a $US125 million ($A138.71 million) contract to build two vessels for an unidentified naval customer in the Middle East.

Austal will build two 72-metre high-speed support vessels at its shipyard in Henderson south of Perth.

Construction of the first vessel will start in the 2014 calendar year, and the second vessel is expected to be delivered in the 2016 calendar year.

The ships will offer a range of capabilities to support naval operations, including helicopter operations, rapid deployment of military personnel and cargo, and search-and-rescue operations.

"This contract reinforces the significant progress we have made in positioning Austal as a prime defence contractor," Austal chief executive Andrew Bellamy said.

The company also makes vessels for Australian Customs and Border Protection and the US Navy.

It made a profit of $9.5 million in the first half of the 2013/14 financial year, up 76 per cent from the same period a year earlier.

It expects to generate revenue of $1 billion in the full year, a target which this latest contract will help to fulfill.

Austal shares were up seven cents at 87 cents at 1207 AEDT.

The West Australian

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