The future USS Canberra during sea trials. Courtesy Austal USA

The Navy took delivery this week of the second littoral combat ship completed by Austal USA in 2021, and the company ordered a floating dry dock to support the growing fleet of littoral ships in San Diego.

The future USS Canberra and the USS Mobile were delivered this year, along with a number of non-commissioned expeditionary fast transports, which are shallow-draft catamaran vessels for logistics support.

“With two ship launches, two christenings, and now the successful completion of sea trials and delivery for LCS 30, it has been a busy last couple of months at Austal,” said company President Rusty Murdaugh.

The company has four more littoral ships under construction, including the future USS Santa Barbara, USS Augusta, USS Kingsville and USS Pierre. Two expeditionary fast transports are also under construction at the shipyard in Mobile, with a third under contract.

In October, Austal was awarded a contract for the detailed design and construction of two salvage and repair vessels for the Navy.

The company is establishing a 15-acre site on the waterfront in National City to repair littoral combat ships and other craft deployed to the Indo-Pacific region.

Immediately after finalizing a lease with the Port of San Diego earlier this month, Austal placed an order for a floating dry dock to accommodate small surface combatants and similar sized ships.   

“This dry dock will greatly enhance Austal’s ability to provide the Navy and other customers a highly capable full-service repair facility located in the homeport of San Diego,” Murdaugh said. “It will be invaluable to our customers, and we are eager to satisfy their growing demand for West Coast repair facilities that include dry docks.”

The dry dock will be 531 feet long and 154 feet wide, with a maximum draft of 36 feet. It is scheduled to be fully operational in San Diego by August 2023.

General Dynamics NASSCO and BAE Systems Ship Repair, both located in Barrio Logan, also have floating dry docks to service ships in San Diego.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.