Production has begun at Austal USA’s shipyard in Mobile, Ala., in support of their strategic partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) to support the U.S. Navy’s recapitalization of the nation’s nuclear submarine fleet.
Leveraging Austal USA’s lean manufacturing techniques and modern steel production line facilities, a focus factory approach is being used to expand production capacity of the submarine industrial base.
As part of the partnership, Austal USA is building and outfitting Command and Control Systems Modules (CCSM) and Electronic Deck Modules (EDM) for the Virginia- and Columbia-class programs. GDEB began on-the-job training efforts in April 2022 to provide certification for skilled trades and supervisory positions to ensure consistent work practices and adherence to quality assurance standards.
“This partnership is representative of the talent that exists across the shipbuilding industrial base and how it can be optimized to support the throughput our U.S. Navy and nation require,” Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said in a statement announcing the beginning of construction. “Our team of shipbuilders are excited to support this long-term relationship with GDEB as we continue to explore more opportunities to maximize production capacity during concurrent submarine production.”
Work began in late November on two tanks for a Virginia class submarine. The first CCSM is scheduled to arrive at Austal USA’s Mobile shipyard in late January 2023 for initial outfitting efforts. The work will support a gradual ramp up to full fabrication and outfitting of CCSMs and EDMs across both submarine classes beginning in 2026.