MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The U.S. Navy has awarded Mobile shipbuilder Austal USA the first contract to design a new steel ship.
The $3.6m contract was awarded for the functional design of a Navajo-class Towing, Slavage and Rescue Ship or T-ATS.
This would be the first steel ship built by Austal which is known for building aluminum ships–the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and the Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF).
The new steel ships would be 263 foot steel-hulled vessels designed to replace the retiring Rescue and Salvage Ship (T-ARS)
At the end of March, Austal, Mobile’s largest industrial employer, broke ground on a new facility to build steel ships. That line is expected to be in operation by April 2022.