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Austal USA

Enabling a New Era of Shipbuilding.

Austal is an Australian manufacturer, servicer, and sustainment provider of advanced aluminum and carbon steel vessels with a supplier network that includes more than 850 companies across 40 states.


For the company’s first U.S. operation, a contract to produce ships for the U.S. Navy, the customer selected Gray to design and build a modular manufacturing and office complex in Mobile, AL.

In Numbers

  • Mobile, AL
  • 1086670 s.f.
    Square Footage
  • 13; 9; 12; 24 months
Austal USA
Mobile, AL
1086670 s.f.
13; 9; 12; 24 months

Multiphase Project Brings Heavy Industry to Mobile


Gray’s initial scope for the project included design-build services for a 460,000 s.f. modular manufacturing facility (MMF) for producing the Littoral Combat Ship and the Joint High Speed Vessel for the U.S. Navy. As the project neared completion, Austal added modifications to an existing pre-engineered building to Gray’s scope. In 2011, Austal turned to Gray to complete a 393,000 s.f. Phase II expansion of its MMF production bay, as well as Phase III—a greenfield 108,000 s.f., three-story office complex on the Mobile campus.


The manufacturing spaces include 93′ tall steel sliding doors, 47 overhead cranes, and aviation-style fabric doors rated for 135 mph winds, while the office complex—five modules totaling 20,000 s.f.—features a nautical theme with high-end finishes, a curved glass façade, cherry wood panels, and a reconfigurable multi-purpose room with auditorium-style seating for up to 400.


The limited available footprint for the campus’s office structure presented a unique challenge for the project team. As one Austal official put it, the office complex was built “on a work site the size of a postage stamp,” and utilized nearly 70% of the remaining space on Austal’s campus, which included the existing and expanding MMF, a pre-engineered warehouse, a U.S. Navy facility, and a parking area. Between active construction and the customer’s ongoing shipbuilding operations, the site allowed little room for staging building materials. Despite these challenges, the Gray team delivered an award-winning project that allowed the customer to maintain its production schedule for the Navy contract.


Austal Receives Honors from ABC Alabama

Mobile manufacturing and office complex recognized for Excellence in Construction.
Learn More.

Sharing Our Success

Austal USA hosted Gray and other distinguished guests at its Mobile, AL, campus for a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the construction of its new modular manufacturing and office facilities.

Gray and Austal Celebrate Ribbon Cutting

Expanding Production Capabilities

The Industry's Most Modern Steel Panel Line.

Following construction of the modular manufacturing bays and offices, Austal selected Gray to design and build an expansion to house a new carbon steel panel production line. The greenfield expansion represents Gray’s fourth design-build project on Austal’s Mobile campus and increases the size of the campus to more than 1 million s.f.


As part of the addition of a new production line, Gray divided Austal’s modular manufacturing area with a wall to separate the new carbon steel production materials and equipment from the aluminum production processes. The addition of steel capability allows the customer to produce up to nine high-quality steel ships per year and ensures that Austal USA will remain a major contributor to the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.


The carbon steel panel production line features two large roll-up doors at 56′ wide and 45′ tall, with a clear span of 225′ and 15′ deep girders that span the length of the building. Gray used more than a dozen heavy-duty cranes for the facility’s construction. Gray’s scope also included the integration of complex mechanical infrastructure for the facility’s process utilities, such as welding gas, compressed air, and dust collection ducts, all trenched underground to avoid overhead conflicts in the fabricating process.

Explore Services

  • Engineering

    Process & Packaging Systems Engineering

    Civil/Building Engineering

    Mechanical/Electrical Engineering

  • Design



    Sustainable Design

  • Construction





  • Digital

    Automation & Controls

    Production-First IT



  • Equipment
    Custom equipment Ovens & cookers
    Process skids Batching equipment
    Clean-in-place systems Bioreactors
    Extruders Distributed products
    Mixers & blenders Control panel fabrication
  • Development

    Feasibility Studies


    Incentive Coordination

    Land Acquisition

    Construction Financing

    Build-to-Suit/Sale Leaseback

  • Planning

    Master Planning

    Front-end Services

    Strategy Consulting

"The addition of steel capability is a game changer, as it opens up our capability to support the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and other customers with high-quality ships."
Rusty Murdaugh, President

Austal USA

About Gray

Gray is a fully integrated global service provider specializing in engineering, design, construction, digital, equipment manufacturing, and real estate services.