Austal USA started construction on the company’s first steel ship: a U.S. Navy Navajo Class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS 11).

Austal’s new 170,000-square-foot enclosed steel production facility in Mobile, Ala., houses state-of-the-art computerized and robotic steel-processing equipment. The facility will operate using the company’s proven ship manufacturing processes and 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.

T-ATS will provide ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support U.S. fleet operations and will be a multi mission common hull platform capable of towing heavy ships. Delivery of T-ATS 11 is planned for late 2024.