Austal USA has announced the commencement of design work for the expansion of its Mobile shipyard in the state of Alabama, US.  

This expansion, located to the south of the company’s existing waterfront facility, is a continuation of Austal USA’s growth, which began with the ground-breaking of a steel panel line in March 2021.  

The new infrastructure is expected to increase Austal USA’s manufacturing capacity.

It is required for handling various naval and coastguard vessels, including the US Navy’s Constellation-class frigates and the US Coast Guard’s Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters. 

It will include a new assembly building, waterfront enhancements, and a ship lift system, which will ensure safe and efficient ship launching and retrieval processes. 

Austal USA is collaborating with several partners on this project. 

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This includes Pearlson & Pearlson as the programme manager and owner’s representative, Kiewit Infrastructure South as the lead for design and construction, and Pearlson Shiplift Corporation for the design and construction of the ship lift system. 

Construction is expected to begin in mid-2024. 

Austal USA acting president Michelle Kruger said: “With the steel panel line in full production our expansion focus has shifted to the erection and launch facilities required to support our growing backlog. 

“This new facility is continuing evidence of the close relationship we have with our local community including our community leaders; local, state and federal political leaders; and, regional organisations such as the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.”  

The new assembly building will feature three bays and will support the construction of steel ships, offering the flexibility needed for submarine and other surface ship programmes.  

It will also include seven assembly bays offering an additional 400,000ft² of indoor erection space.  

Overall, the facility will cover 180 acres and provide more than 1.5 million square feet of indoor manufacturing space.