Austal USA will assume the lease of the ship repair site of Marine Group Boat Works (MGBW) in the Port of San Diego, California after the companies signed an agreement.

Austal and MGBW have now entered a 45-day period to conclude the lease agreement.

This follows the receipt of approval from the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners to assume the lease of the 15-acre site.

The site is located adjacent to US Naval Base San Diego. It will be used to perform repairs for the US Navy, Military Sealift Command, and US Coast Guard vessels.

The site comprises a newly built dry dock, which has been designed specifically to manage small surface combatant (SSC). It can also handle other small to medium size ships.

Austal USA president Rusty Murdaugh said: “This investment marks a major milestone in Austal’s focus on growing our services business and anchors our commitment to servicing Navy, Military Sealift and Coast Guard ships in the INDO-PACOM region.

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“This facility expands our commitment to our customers to ensure they are receiving the Austal USA brand quality throughout the lifecycle of the ships we deliver.

“As the industry leader for on-schedule and on-budget delivery to the US Navy, Austal USA has made continuous improvement a cornerstone of our culture and operations.”

Austal USA noted that it will establish a full-service ship repair capability to provide maintenance for SSCs, autonomous vehicles, and other ships.

The repair facility will include a dry dock optimised to execute availabilities on littoral combat ships (LCSs) and other SSCs.

Austal USA will provide technical and material support, topside work, and other services related to dry docking availabilities at the site.