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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Work Starts on New Navy Floating Dry Dock

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 12, 2023

Austal USA began construction on the Navy’s Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM) at the company’s Gulf Coast ship manufacturing facility. Image courtesy Austal USA

Austal USA began construction on the Navy’s Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM) at the company’s Gulf Coast ship manufacturing facility. Image courtesy Austal USA

Austal USA began construction on the Navy’s Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM) at the company’s Gulf Coast ship manufacturing facility last week. AFDM is the third program to begin construction on Austal USA’s steel assembly line following T-ATS 11 and 12 - the first two of four U.S. Navy Towing, Salvage, and Rescue (T-ATS) ships the company is under contract to build.  

The AFDM is a “Rennie”-type floating dry dock which means it has continuous wing walls and several sectional pontoons to provide the stability and displacement required to lift and submerge vessels from the water using buoyancy.  It has a 18,000 LT lifting capacity and a clear deck working area of 90,800 square feet. The craft has an overall length of 694 feet, overall pontoon breadth of 157 feet, and a height of 65 feet from baseline to wing deck.  The vessel design incorporates features to improve operability and maintainability based on Austal USA’s experience and lessons learned from owning, operating and maintaining a similar dry dock at its Mobile, Alabama, ship repair facility.