Austal USA has initiated the construction of the US Navy’s Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium at the company’s Gulf Coast ship manufacturing facility.
Following the construction of the first two US Navy Towing, Salvage, and Rescue (T-ATS) ships, namely T-ATS 11 and 12, Austal USA commenced the third program last week, the Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM).
The AFDM, a floating dry dock of the “Rennie” type, is equipped with continuous wing walls and sectional pontoons to ensure stability and displacement necessary for lifting and submerging vessels through buoyancy.
It boasts a lifting capacity of 18,000 LT and a clear deck working area spanning 90,800 square feet.
With an overall length of 694 feet, an overall pontoon breadth of 157 feet, and a height of 65 feet from baseline to wing deck, the craft is designed to meet the required specifications, stated the company.
Reportedly, the value of the contract is $128 million for the design and construction of a new auxiliary floating dry dock.
“This dry dock will be a first for Austal, but we’re up to the challenge,” Austal USA vice president, New Construction 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.”
Rennie-type floating dry docks offer versatility in servicing a wide range of naval vessels, such as cruisers, destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, and dock landing ships.