Austal Begins Construction of US Navy’s Next Floating Dry Dock

Austal USA has begun constructing the US Navy’s Auxiliary Floating Dock Medium (AFDM) at its facility in Mobile, Alabama.

The AFDM is a “Rennie” type of dry dock featuring continuous wing walls and sectional pontoons.

These capabilities provide naval operators with the stability and displacement to submerge and lift vessels.

Each dock has a lifting capacity of 18,000 long tons and a clear deck working area of around 8,435 square meters (91,000 square feet).

The platform has a height of 20 meters (65 feet) from the baseline to the wing deck, a length of 211 meters (690 feet), and an overall pontoon breadth of 48 meters  (157 feet).

Planned design of US Navy's new Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM)
Planned design of US Navy’s new Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM). Photo: Austal

The AFDM’s detailed design and construction contract was awarded to Austal in June 2022. It is valued at $128 million.

“This dry dock will be a first for Austal, but we’re up to the challenge,” Austal USA New Construction Vice President Dave Growden said.

“Our talented shipbuilders are always ready for whatever we require of them whether it’s the fourth ship in a multi-ship program or the first of a new design.”

Recent Austal Contracts With US Navy

In May, the US Navy awarded Austal a $114-million contract to design the service’s next Auxiliary General Ocean Surveillance Ship (T-AGOS).

The agreement will amount to $3.2 billion if the option for the detailed design and construction of up to seven T-AGOS vessels is exercised.

The AFDM development comes after the commencement of work on two additional US Navy Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) last week.

Austal received the $156-million contract for T-ATS 13 and 14 in July 2022. The agreement for the T-ATS 11 and 12 was awarded in October 2021.

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