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Austal USA Completes Agreement to Set Up New Shop in San Diego

national city
The Marine Group Boat Works yard in National City (MGBY file image)

Published Dec 15, 2021 10:28 PM by The Maritime Executive

Austal USA has closed on a deal with Marine Group Boat Works to take over the lease for a small dockyard in National City, just south of San Diego. The 15-acre site will give Austal's growing service division a base at the home port of the Austal-built Independence-class of Littoral Combat Ships. 

Austal is acquiring a newly-built floating drydock for the yard, which will allow it to offer full services for small surface combatants, U.S. Coast Guard cutters and similar vessels. After the transfer, Marine Group Boat Works will consolidate its commercial and superyacht repair business at its second yard in neighboring Chula Vista. 

"When the dry dock is delivered we will be able to provide the Navy a highly capable full-service repair facility located in the homeport of San Diego,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh. “We know how valuable this additional repair facility is to our customers, the Navy, Coast Guard, and Military Sealift Command, and we are ready to meet the growing demand."

Austal has the Independence-class at front of mind as it makes plans for the new site. A service center in San Diego will allow the Independence hulls to come in for OEM repairs at their home port, without having to transit to another location - saving fuel and time. 

Austal holds multiple service contracts for both series of Littoral Combat Ships, including the Marinette-built Freedom-class. In addition to the new site in San Diego, Austal maintains a service center near its newbuild yard in Mobile, as well as an overseas site in Singapore.

The U.S. Navy is phasing out future production of both of the lightly-armed LCS classes in favor of a conventional frigate, the Constellation-class, which will be built at Fincantieri's Marinette yard. To bid on future new construction opportunities, Austal is adapting its aluminum-centered production yard to incorporate a new focus on steel, reflecting the Navy's acquisition priorities.