The American subsidiary of Henderson-based Austal has expanded its presence with the opening of a new San Diego operations office to support the growing number of ships built for the US Navy.
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The new San Diego office opening is another significant measure by Austal USA to expand its business, currently ranked as the nation’s fifth-largest shipbuilder. The new opening comes on the heels of the company’s recent acquisition of ElectraWatch, an industry-leading technology company, and its Singapore office opening in January 2017.
The new facility will employ over 200 people and will provide support for both Littoral Combat Ships and Austal-built Expeditionary Fast Transports (EPF), and will serve as Austal USA's west coast base of operations.
All of Austal's Independence Class ships are to be based at San Diego under Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One (LCSRON ONE), which will expand to include a mine hunting role with an IOC expected in FY21 and will see additional ships join the fleet, with the Tulsa (LCS 16) preparing for final acceptance trials and the Charleston (LCS 18) preparing for builder's sea trials as of early July.
Assembly of the Cincinnati (LCS 20) and Kansas City (LCS 22) is under way and modules are being built for the Oakland (LCS 24) and Mobile (LCS 26). On Friday, July 20, Austal will hold a keel-laying ceremony for the Oakland. Work on the Savannah (LCS 28) is to begin later this year.
Austal USA president Craig Perciavalle said, "With nine Expeditionary Fast Transport ships and eight Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships delivered to the Navy, and many more to follow, this expansion increases our ability to support our ships beyond delivery and as they deploy.”
In addition to being in full rate production for the LCS program, Austal is also the Navy’s prime contractor for the EPF program. Austal has delivered nine EPF vessels, while an additional three are in various stages of construction.
“The Navy can rest assure Austal USA will continue to deliver on our promise of providing cost effective solutions, superior ships, worldwide service and support to the fleet,” said Perciavalle.
Austal USA is a fully-owned subsidiary of Western Australia-based Austal Group, which has international operations in the US, Philippines, China, Vietnam and Singapore, and numerous service centres around the globe.