Shipbuilder Austal USA has contracted Alabama-based SSAB Americas to provide steel for new US Navy ships.

The contract follows the US Navy award to Austal to build steel-hulled towing, salvage and rescue ships (T-ATS).

According to Austal, the company’s partnership with SSAB directly supports hundreds of jobs in the greater Mobile area of Alabama.

The company will source several ‘strength and sized steel plating’ from the Alabama-based steel provider.

The steel can be cut, shaped, welded, and fitted, making it capable of being used in the construction of support ships and potential combat ships for the US military.

Austal USA president Rusty Murdaugh said: “SSAB not only provides us with quality steel, but also great flexibility due to its location adjacent to us here in Mobile.

“The ability to work quickly and in-person with them on current and future steel requirements by the US Navy and Coast Guard is an asset to Austal that will support our business and economic growth in our community.”

In March this year, Austal USA broke ground on a new steel manufacturing facility in Mobile and hosted a ceremony at the company’s shipyard marking the start of construction of the new facility.

This steel shipbuilding facility will help the company to fulfil the growing demand for steel vessels by the US Coast Guard and the US Navy.

SSAB Americas senior vice-president and chief commercial officer Jeff Moskaluk said: “Austal USA is a respected and valued partner to SSAB Americas.

“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.”