Huntington Ingalls Industries announced that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has lifted and mounted a 400-metric ton caisson unit into its new Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility (JMAF).
The company says the fixture will speed up submarine construction.
“A fixture of this magnitude allows us to significantly improve construction efficiencies and shorten our production span times in support of our current Virginia-class submarine programs and future work on the Columbia-class submarine program,” said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of operations.
The massive fixture, standing over 80 feet high, is scheduled to be fully operational later this year. It will first be used to streamline the construction of the bow module for the Virginia-class submarine Utah (SSN 801).
The JMAF, which opened in 2017, was designed to support current and future production work on aircraft carriers and submarines.