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Navatek, Front Street Shipyard to partner on Navy fast boats

Aug 9, 2019 01:59 PM

The $8 million contract will be used to develop safer hulls and hybrid-electric propulsion

The following is text of a news release from Front Street Shipyard:

(PORTLAND, Maine) — Navatek LLC has been awarded an $8 million contract from the U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research (ONR). The contract titled “Advanced Planing Hull Research” focuses on pursuing new science and technology for safer hulls and hybrid-electric propulsion systems for fast boats.

Navatek will work directly with Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, Maine, which will combine its “Built in Maine” composites experience with Navatek’s research strength. Front Street Shipyard will build the Navatek prototypes and collaborate on testing at sea. The science and technology advancements from this research will benefit all the Navy’s small craft programs.

“Maine is home to the best shipbuilders in the world, and our state has long had an integral role in our national security. Navatek’s engineering and research strength combined with Front Street Shipyard’s composites experience will benefit all of the Navy’s small-craft programs,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “As a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I strongly advocated for the funding that made this research possible and am so proud of the work Navatek and other Maine companies do to support our Navy and our nation’s defense.”

This new contract will continue to build on the success of Maine’s historic leadership in the maritime field and revolutionize it for the digital and renewable energy age. Opportunities to collaborate with Maine maritime companies such as Front Street Shipyard were vital in supporting Navatek’s Portland office, opened in 2018.

“Our company is committed to the state of Maine, and thanks to Senator Collins’ support, we have been able to partner with the University of Maine and the state’s boatbuilding ecosystem to address the Navy’s new challenges and needs,” said Martin Kao, CEO of Navatek.

Building on Kao’s comments, J.B. Turner, president of Front Street Shipyard, said, “We believe our experience with advanced composite construction for boats will provide a key advantage to our Navy, and we are happy to team with Navatek to use our combined capabilities in this area through this new research program.”

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