Taber Extrusions LLC has made several key announcements through President Bill Wetmore regarding contract awards that will position the company as the primary supplier of aluminum extruded products for the Navy’s Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV) program.
According to Wetmore, Taber Extrusions has been chosen by one of the world leaders in design and construction of customized aluminum defense vessels, Austal USA.
The first contract awarded is for the manufacturing of the main deck and flight deck extrusions for the Joint High Speed Vessel - JHSV 2 Vigilant:
“Through our unique combination of superior metal flow patterns associated with rectangular billet configuration and press size, we hold a clear advantage over competitors trying to make similar extrusions with round containers on smaller presses,” remarked Wetmore. “Additionally, the unique flow pattern in this design allows us to hold much tighter tolerances for flatness, straightness and twist as to assure that critical thickness dimensions on the internal webs are achieved.”
The main deck and flight deck assemblies are made up of wide, multi-void panel type extrusions utilizing a diagonal truss-web design that are friction stir welded together to form panels. Taber’s use of the 8,600-ton extrusion press with unique rectangular container configuration enables the successful production of the complex sections supplied in lengths up to 47 feet. Taber Extrusions’ ability to hold tight tolerances on this section have allowed for a significant increase in productivity in the friction stir-welding rates resulting in a reliable flow of quality product to Austal.
Furthermore, the company will produce the 5083 tee extrusions for the JHSV 1, Fortitude and JHSV 2 Vigilant. Since the initial build phase on JHSV 1, Austal has utilized friction stir welded 5083 panels. The use of 5083 extrusions has increased significantly, replacing 6061 alloy extrusions. The tee-configured 5083 extrusions used in the panels will be produced at Taber’s Gulfport, Mississippi facility. The welded panels are used in many areas of the ship including the superstructure, decking and bulkheads.
As prime contractor, Austal USA currently has contracts to build the first three JHSVs as part of a 10-vessel program valued at up to $1.63B. In June 2010, the Navy funded the acquisition of long lead-time equipment for JHSV 4 and 5. Options for the other five vessels will be awarded by 2013. The JHSV will be capable of transporting up to 300 troops and their equipment for four days and will be able to carry 700 short tons (including Abrams Main Battle Tanks) 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.