The US Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast has awarded a task order for the construction of a new Littoral Innovation and Prototyping facility.

Value of the new firm-fixed-price task order is approximately $58.5m.

It has been awarded to US-based company Gilbane Federal as part of the multiple award construction contract vehicle.

The new Littoral Innovation and Prototyping Facility will come up at the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Panama City, Florida.

The construction project will support Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD).

The Littoral Innovation and Prototyping Centre will replace around nine building that were damaged in 2018 during the Hurricane Michael.

It is being constructed to boost the collaborative and equipment capabilities of NSWC PCD to perform Research, Development, Test & Evaluation related to mine warfare and expeditionary warfare operations conducted in littoral environments.

NSWC PCD technical director Dr Peter Adair said: “The awarding of Littoral Innovation and Prototyping Facility will improve PCD’s long-term ability to meet national defence needs by providing facilities for collaborative science and technology and rapid prototyping in technical domains.”

Work primarily includes construction of a 54,475ft² laboratory, with separate support space for workspace and laboratories for engineers and scientists.

The lab will feature various technological development related to computational science, communications, robotics, predictive methodologies, platform-based cybersecurity, biosciences, artificial intelligence/machine learning and automatic target recognition.

The facility will also have high bays with an overhead crane, loading dock, large tank room and an elevator.

Besides, the facility will combine different geographically dispersed buildings that will further minimise the maintenance and repair costs.

Associated construction work will be carried out in Panama City and is slated to complete by January 2026.