Austal USA, Navy Plan to Expand West Coast LCS Maintenance Operations

Austal USA is coordinating with the U.S. Navy on potential maintenance and lifecycle management services for the military branch's littoral combat ships, USNI News reported Monday.

Austal USA and the Navy are currently discussing plans to conduct post-delivery LCS maintenance at the company's shipyard in Mobile, Ala.; support LCS operations in Singapore and other Southeast Asian locations; and facilitate additional maintenance and planning yard work at the company's San Diego, Calif., site as well as other West Coast shipyards.

In January, the service branch awarded Austal USA a $16.3M contract to continue industrial post-delivery availability services in the company's Mobile shipyard.

Terry O'Brien, vice president of business development at Austal USA, said the company is looking into partnering with other firms with a dry dock for future LCS projects.

The Navy is planning to transfer dry dock operations further north of the West Coast in order to address Austal USA's lack of dry docks in the region.

According to O'Brien, the ships were originally intended to sail from the Gulf of Mexico through the Panama Canal and into San Diego to commence shakedown and post-shakedown availability operations.

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