New fixture at Newport News Shipbuilding set to ‘revolutionize’ submarine construction

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Newport News Shipbuilding has lifted and mounted a new 400-ton caisson unit to its Joint Manufacturing Assembly Facility that the company says will revolutionize submarine construction.

“[It] revolutionize[s] how we build submarines for our country,” said Matt Needy, Newport News’ vice president of operations. “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.”

The massive fixture, which stands at more than 80 feet high, is set to be fully operational later this year.

Its first scheduled use will be streamlining the bow module for the Virginia-class submarine PCU Utah (SSN 801).

The facility opened in 2017 and is designed to support current and future production work on aircraft carriers and submarines.