Manufacturing News

Austal opens US$100 million steel shipbuilding yard

Manufacturing News

Perth international shipbuilder Austal has opened the company’s new state-of-the-art steel shipbuilding facility in Mobile, Alabama (pictured), enabling the simultaneous production of both aluminium and steel hulled ships.

The first vessels to be built in the new steel facility will be two Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) for the United States Navy, which were placed under a US$144 million contract in October 2021.

The US government paid half the cost of the new steel ship yard facility, which complements Austal’s current operation building two classes of aluminium multi-hulled vessels for the US Navy.

Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said the opening of the new steel facility marked a significant development in Austal USA’s shipbuilding capabilities.

Gregg said: “Austal USA is now ready to start constructing steel ships for the U.S. Navy, including the Navajoclass Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) ships, and can offer this expanded shipbuilding capability to new customers such as the United States Coast Guard.

“Our warmest congratulations go to Rusty Murdaugh and the entire Austal USA team after establishing this impressive new facility so quickly and efficiently.”

Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh said the addition of steel capability is a game changer as it opens up capability to support customers with high quality ships.

Murdaugh said: “Austal USA will operate our steel production line using the same lean manufacturing principles that we’ve refined over the last 15 years building LCS and EPFs for the Navy.

“That process has resulted in Austal’s reputation for delivering quality ships, on time and on budget, ship after ship.

“We will bring that same reliable production capability to steel ship construction.”

The new steel manufacturing facility includes the latest in computerised and robotic steel processing equipment to handle all the current and future demands of the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.

A 6,000 square metre stock yard will be utilised for handling the raw steel and a 2,000 square metre paint facility will provide the ability to paint and blast simultaneously in two separate cells, or both cells can be combined providing the ability to paint super-modules.

The company has seven aluminium ships currently under construction at the shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Picture: Austal USA/Mobile, Alabama

Subscribe to our free @AuManufacturing newsletter here.

Share this Story
Manufacturing News

Stay Informed

Go to Top