Austal teams with SSAB on steel ship construction

The local contract will put Alabama-made steel in Navy ships.

A rendering of the U.S. Navy’s Towing, Salvage and Rescue vessels.

Austal USA has contracted with Alabama steel producer SSAB to provide the steel that will be used in the U.S. Navy’s Towing, Salvage and Rescue ships (T-ATS). As both companies are located in Mobile, the contract is expected to support hundreds of jobs in South Alabama.

In June, Austal was awarded a $3.6 million Navy contract for functional design of the Navajo-class T-ATS vessel. The company had broken ground on its steel shipbuilding facility in March 2020, and expects it to be operational by April, 2022.

In this latest contract with SSAB, Austal will source various strength and sized steel plate from SSAB, capable of being cut, shaped, welded and fitted.

“SSAB not only provides us with quality steel, but also great flexibility due to its location adjacent to us here in Mobile, Alabama,” said Austal USA President Rusty Murdaugh. “The ability to work quickly and in-person with them on current and future steel requirements by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard is an asset to Austal that will support our business and economic growth in our community.”

SSAB Americas Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Moskaluk added, “Our participation in such an important and vital project, that will strengthen both the economic and national security of our country, makes this partnership even more meaningful. We are proud to work closely with Austal USA and demonstrate the service, quality and value that is delivered from an interconnected and local supply chain here in Alabama.”

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The T-ATS ships are 263-foot craft designed to help with towing, salvage, rescue, oil spill response, humanitarian assistance and wide-area search and surveillance.

Austal’s parent company is based in Australia and SSAB is based in Sweden.

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