New naval propulsion manufacturing facility announced

By Abby Shepherd / February 27, 2024 at 4:26 PM

Defense contractor Leonardo DRS announced today it has signed a ground lease for a naval propulsion manufacturing facility in Charleston, SC, with initial occupancy targeted for 2026.

“When complete there will be over 140,000 square feet of purpose-built advanced manufacturing, assembly and testing space representing an approximate net investment of $120 million by DRS,” the company said in a news release. “The new capabilities made possible by this investment will play a key role in the continued expansion of propulsion system integration and testing for the company.”

Large components for advanced naval electric propulsion systems will be manufactured, integrated and tested at the new facility, including solid-state drives, control systems and cooling equipment. With the facility located near a local waterway, there will be direct access to shipbuilding customers, the company added.

“We are proud to be building the next-generation electric propulsion system components for the new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine,” Leonardo DRS CEO Bill Lynn said in the release. “This new facility in South Carolina expands our capability to support our U.S. Navy customers on this and other critical programs that enhance the nation’s submarine industrial base.”