United States
July 9, 2024

Austal USA breaks ground on new final assembly facility

MOBILE, Ala. – Austal USA celebrated the start of construction for the company’s newest final assembly facility with a groundbreaking ceremony today.  The infrastructure expansion, which will be to the south of Austal USA’s current waterfront facility, 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 which will enable the erection of large steel modules for Navy and Coast Guard ships, including the Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) and TAGOS-25 programs. 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.     

Secretary of Commerce Ellen McNair was the principal speaker at today’s ceremony representing Governor Kay Ivey.  In her remarks, Secretary McNair highlighted the long-standing partnership of Alabama and Austal USA and the important role that partnership has played in Austal USA’s 25-year history.

“As evidenced by this major expansion, Austal USA continues to be both an economic engine to Alabama and a driving force behind U.S. Naval modernization,” said Governor Kay Ivey. “It is fitting that during its 25th anniversary year in Alabama, Austal breaks ground on its third final assembly facility that will usher in more jobs for Mobile and the Gulf Coast. We are proud to be home to one of our U.S. Navy’s most relied upon shipbuilders.”

“Austal USA is poised for significant growth, and this infrastructure expansion plan reflects that,” commented Austal USA President Michelle Kruger.  “Austal USA’s investment in this latest facility expansion project reflects our commitment to supporting the implementation of the National Defense Industrial Strategy and our commitment to investing in the Mobile region.” 

The new assembly building will occupy four and a half acres and will be approximately 400 feet long by 480 feet wide providing over 192,000 square feet of new covered manufacturing space. It will consist of three bays enabling erection of the Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and Navy’s TAGOS-25 ocean surveillance steel ships as well as provide flexibility to manufacture modules for submarine and other surface ship programs. Austal USA has partnered with Pearlson & Pearlson Inc., program manager and owner’s representative; Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., lead for design and construction; and, Pearlson Shiplift Corporation, designer and builder of the shiplift system, to execute the project. 

The Pearlson-designed shiplift system will feature an articulated lifting platform approximately 450 feet long by 125 feet wide, capable of lifting and launching vessels in excess of 18,000 long tons. This capacity will facilitate the launch and docking of the U.S. Navy Constellation-class Frigates, TAGOS-25 class Ocean Surveillance Ships, Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships, and the U.S. Coast Guard Heritage-class Offshore Patrol Cutters.

When this expansion is complete, Austal USA’ s Mobile, Ala. facility will include a 117,000 square foot steel panel line, two module manufacturing facilities totaling over one million square feet of covered manufacturing space optimized for serial production, and seven assembly bays providing over 400,000 square feet of indoor erection space.  In all, the Mobile facility covers 180 acres and, when this project is complete, over 1.5 million square feet of indoor manufacturing space. 

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