Austal USA Breaks Ground On The New Steel Manufacturing Line

Austal USA shipyard in Mobile, Alabama, was so far specialized in building aluminum ships such as the Independence-class LCS and Spearhead-class EPF.

Austal USA broke ground on its steel manufacturing line today positioning the company to start steel production in April 2022. This addition of steel capability ensures Austal USA will remain a major contributor to the U.S. shipbuilding industrial base.

“This world-class steel manufacturing line is a treasure for the Gulf Coast, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard that will provide a much needed boost to the defense industrial base and our Nation’s defense,” Congressman for Alabama’s first district Jerry Carl said.

Today’s ceremony marked the start of a new era for Austal USA as the company adds steel shipbuilding capability to its growing business portfolio.

“As demand for the greater and larger Navy and Coast Guard fleets grows, Austal USA is investing to meet those changing requirements,” Rusty Murdaugh, interim president said. “We’re investing in our people, we’re investing in our processes and we’re investing in our facilities and capabilities.”

Just as Austal helped turn Mobile into the Nation’s premier location for construction of aluminum ships, the company is poised to do the same for steel. During World War II, residents of Mobile built steel Liberty ships that were critical to the war effort. In the coming years, Austal will look to build and deliver steel ships needed by the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy.

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Founded on innovation, effectiveness and efficiency, Austal USA will bring its proven lean manufacturing processes and facility design to the steel shipbuilding market. These processes have helped deliver 24 ships to the Navy in the last nine years. No other shipbuilder comes close to matching that performance.

“Each time we have invested in our facilities, our customers have seen a greater return on their investment,” Murdaugh said. “The steel ships that will come off this line will be the best, most efficient and most affordable steel ships in the Coast Guard and Navy fleets.”

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