Austal USA has started construction on a US Navy Navajo Class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship (T-ATS 11), the first steel ship to be built at Austal’s new 170,000 square foot enclosed steel production facility.
Housing state-of-the-art computerized and robotic steel processing equipment, the new facility will operate using Austal’s proven ship manufacturing processes and innovative methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction, and moving assembly lines.
Modules for T-ATS will be built in the new steel production facility before being transported to the final assembly hall to be erected. Delivery of T-ATS 11 is planned for late 2024.
T-ATS will provide ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support US fleet operations and will be a multi mission common hull platform capable of towing heavy ships.
“It seems like only yesterday we were breaking ground on our steel shipbuilding facility and here we are, a little over a year later, beginning construction on our first steel ship,” said Austal USA Vice President of New Construction, Dave Growden. “Our shipbuilders are excited to demonstrate how effectively their talent and our proven processes translate to steel production.”
“Congratulations to Austal USA for starting construction on the company’s first steel ship! This announcement is great news for Austal USA, south Alabama, and the defense interests of the United States,” said Congressman Jerry Carl, US representative for Alabama’s first district. “Thanks to our top-notch workforce and strong shipbuilding track record along the Gulf Coast, Austal USA is now providing world-class steel ships for the US Navy. I look forward to seeing this ship completed and be put to good use for years to come.”