Austal USA has announced the commencement of work related to the US Navy’s Virginia-class and the future Columbia-class nuclear-powered submarine fleet.
Work is being performed by the company as part of a strategic partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat (GDEB).
The collaborative effort involves Austal to build and integrate the command and control systems modules (CCSM) and electronic deck modules (EDM) for the existing Virginia-Class new attack submarine, as well as the future Columbia-class submarine.
Production of the new systems is being carried out at Austal USA’s modern steel panel line in Mobile, Alabama.
According to Austal, it is using a focused factory approach for the production by leveraging various lean manufacturing techniques. These will help to expand the overall production capacity of the submarine’s industrial base.
Since April this year, GDEB has been working on on-the-job training activities related with this project to provide certification for different supervisory positions as well as for other skilled trades.
The training aims to ensure that the workforce can meet all quality assurance standards.
Austal informed that the associated work on two tanks of one of the Virginia-class submarines started in late November.
Delivery of the first CCSM is expected to take place in late January next year.
Once delivered, Austal will start initial outfitting work for CCSM at its Mobile shipyard.
Gradually, the CCSMs and EDMs integration work will speed up and enter the full fabrication and outfitting stage for both the classes of submarines in early 2026.
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 maximise production capacity during concurrent submarine production.”