Austal USA wins contract to build Navy floating dry dock

Written by Nick Blenkey
Austal USA is to build a steel floating dry dock

The Department of Defense said Friday that Austal USA LLC, Mobile, Ala., has been awarded a $128,050,747 firm-fixed-price contract for the detail design and construction of an auxiliary floating dry dock medium, crew familiarization, packaging and delivery, production data package, vehicle bridge design, vehicle bridge construction and delivery and wingwall portal cranes with options for vendor recommended spares and special studies.

The contract includes options, that, if exercised, would bring its cumulative value to $128,149,367.

The contract was competitively procured via the website, with two offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

The competitively awarded contract marks Austal USA’s second steel vessel program for the U.S. Navy and demonstrates the shipyard’s growing capability to meet the Navy’s needs for aluminum and steel vessels. 

The AFDM will be constructed in Austal’s modern steel panel line in Mobile, Ala. The design incorporates features to improve operability and maintainability based on the company’s experience and lessons learned from owning, operating, and maintaining a similar dry dock at its repair facility at Austal West Campus.

“I am proud of our Austal USA team for developing a winning proposal,” Austal USA president Rusty Murdaugh said. “Combined with our contract for the T-ATS program, the AFDM award is evidence of our expanding capability and focus on delivering a diverse portfolio of solutions to our customers, from combatants to dry docks.  We are looking forward to providing the U.S. Navy with an exceptional floating dry dock using our lean manufacturing approach.”

The AFDM is a “Rennie”-type floating dry dock with an 18,000 LT lifting capacity and a clear deck working area of 90,800 square feet. The craft has an overall length of 694 feet, overall pontoon breadth of 157 feet, and a height of 65 feet from baseline to wing deck. 

According to parent Austal Limited (ASX:ASB), the contract is one of a number that the group has secured, with a total value of AUD 300 million (about US$209 million), which help to diversify the company’s long-term revenue base while utilizing its shipbuilding and support expertise.

In addition to the floating dry dock award, Austal has recently been awarded contracts to:

  • Sustain two Cape-class patrol boats that the Company built for the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard), in country
  • Construct an additional two Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (ECCPB’s) for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said, “the competitively awarded, US$128 million contract for the floating dry dock is Austal USA’s second steel vessel program for the U.S. Navy and clearly demonstrates the Navy’s confidence in the Mobile, Alabama shipyard’s growing capability to deliver aluminum and steel vessels.”

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