Austal USA has begun work on the US Navy’s Auxiliary Floating Dry Dock Medium (AFDM) at the company’s Gulf Coast ship manufacturing facility.
AFDM is the third program to begin construction on Austal USA’s state-of-the-art steel assembly line following T-ATS 11 and 12 – the first two of four US Navy Towing, Salvage, and Rescue (T-ATS) ships the company is under contract to build.
“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.”
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.