Austal USA and General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB) have partnered on production work to support the US Navy’s Virginia-class and future Columbia-class nuclear-powered submarine fleet at Mobile, Alabama.
As part of the collaboration, Austal will develop and integrate electronic deck modules and command and control systems for both submarine classes.
Work on the sub-surface components is being conducted at Austal’s facility in Mobile, Alabama.
The submarines will receive their respective modules by January 2023.
Meanwhile, GDEB will continue to support related workforce upskilling associated with the program.
Since April, the company has been conducting personnel initiatives, including on-the-job training, certifications, and supervisory position selection, to meet the quality assurance requirements for production.
According to Austal, the deck systems integration will enable a rapid transition to the full fabrication stage of the Virginia and Columbia submarines by 2026.
“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.
“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.”
Progress in US Navy Submarine Development
This year, the US Navy and GDEB signed a $532.9 million contract modification to provide research, lead-yard support, and design services for the Virginia-class submarines.
In February, the US Navy exercised a $1 billion contract option to continue support of nuclear reactor components for the Virginia and Columbia submarines.