The Navy awarded Austal USA a $16.3 million contract on Thursday for industrial post-delivery availability work at its Mobile, Ala., manufacturing facility — a first for Austal and the Navy.

Austal will perform post-delivery work on littoral combat ship 20, the future Cincinnati (LCS 20), at its vessel completion yard along the Mobile River.

This work will include engineering, management, and production services in support of prefabrication efforts, material procurement and execution of work items for the LCS 20 Extended Industrial Post Delivery Availability. Typically, this work is performed in San Diego, but through efforts to streamline production, support and sustainment for the LCS program, Austal and the Navy are teaming to reduce post-delivery cost and increase efficiency by performing additional work at Austal’s facility in Alabama.

“This is an important step in the growth of our post-delivery business,” Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said in a statement. “We are excited to continue to expand our relationship with the Navy to do new post-delivery work in Mobile.”

Established in 1999, Austal USA is now the fifth largest shipbuilder in the U.S. The company’s moving modular assembly line revolutionized the shipbuilding industry and helped the company capture the Navy’s expeditionary fast transport (EPF) contract and the INDY variant LCS contract, now a critical part of the shipbuilding industrial base supporting nearly 10,000 suppliers across the country, Austal officials said.

“We’re appreciative of the recognition and confidence the U.S. Navy has displayed in us through continuous contractual awards in ship construction and post-delivery, including the recent award as prime contractor for the drydocking of LCS 14,” said Perciavalle. “But I can tell you, we’ve only scratched the surface on what Austal USA can provide.”

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.