Naval shipbuilder breaks ground on new assembly facility in Alabama

Austal USA
Groundbreaking ceremony of Austal USA's new final assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama, July 9, 2024Austal USA

Naval shipbuilder Austal USA started construction of its newest assembly facility at the company's waterfront site in Mobile, Alabama. The infrastructure expansion, which will be to the south of Austal USA’s current waterfront site, will include a new assembly building, waterfront improvements, and a new shiplift system.

The project is scheduled to be complete and fully operational by summer of 2026. The construction of this new building and waterfront support area continues the expansion Austal USA began in March 2021 with the groundbreaking of the steel panel line.

This latest expansion provides a new assembly bay that will enable the erection of large steel modules for US Navy and Coast Guard ships, including the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance ship programs. Austal USA has partnered with program manager and owner’s representative Pearlson and Pearlson, lead for design and construction Kiewit Infrastructure South Company, and Pearlson Shiplift Corporation, designer and builder of the shiplift system, to execute the project.

In addition to the manufacturing capacity of the new buildings, the expansion includes a shiplift that will provide a safe and reliable system to launch ships as they are completed in the assembly buildings. The shiplift will also enable bringing ships back on the land-side facility for repair and maintenance.

The new assembly building will occupy four and a half acres (1.8 hectares) and will be approximately 400 feet (120 metres) long by 480 feet (150 metres) wide providing over 192,000 square feet (17,800 square metres) of new covered manufacturing space. It will consist of three bays enabling erection of the coast guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and the navy’s TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance ships as well as provide flexibility to manufacture modules for submarine and other surface ship programs.

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