Austal USA has contracted Pearlson Shiplift Corp., Miami, to design and build a new shiplift system at its Mobile, Ala., shipyard. The shiplift drydock will be the largest on the Gulf Coast and widest in North and South America, and will support a wide range of naval shipbuilding and ship repair programs.

The new Pearlson shiplift will feature a 450'x125' articulated lifting platform that will be capable of lifting and launching vessels in excess of 18,000 LT. 

The investment by Austal USA will significantly increase the drydock availability for the Navy’s Constellation-Class Frigates, TAGOS-25-class ocean surveillance ships, Independence-class littoral combat ships, and the Coast Guard’s Heritage-class offshore patrol cutters as well as other new shipbuilding and submarine programs. 

Once the Pearlson shiplift is in place, Austal USA will have the built-in capability to expand the capacity of its shiplift system in the future with a platform extension to accommodate even larger ships and submarines, as needed to support the Navy’s and Coast Guard’s future shipbuilding and ship repair programs.

“Austal is excited to begin design work on our newest shipyard expansion project. This comes on the heels of several major awards to Austal USA for both steel and aluminum ships from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard adding to a backlog of almost $12 billion,” Austal USA acting President Michelle Kruger said in a statement. “We are excited to be working with both Pearlson & Pearlson and Pearlson Shiplift on this important project that will include the increased capacity and reliability of the new Pearlson shiplift system. This project ensures the future needs of the U.S. government’s shipbuilding programs can be met by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.” 

Pearlson & Pearlson Inc. will act as the program manager, project integrator and owner’s representative for Austal USA. Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. will lead the design and construction and Pearlson Shiplift will act as the designer and builder of the shiplift system. 

“We are very excited to be associated with Austal USA, and to support this transformative shipyard expansion project in Mobile, Alabama,” Kelly Pearlson Fraind, CEO of Pearlson Shiplift, said. “Austal USA is known throughout the industry as a shipbuilder that delivers on their commitments and can be relied upon by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard and their commercial ship repair customers alike. This strategic investment by Austal USA will mean that current and future generations, both in Alabama, and across the U.S.A will benefit from a world-class facility which is capable of handling the next generation of U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels.”



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