Taber Extrusions LLC and Austal USA have entered into contracts for Taber to supply extruded products for Littoral Combat Ship Jackson (LCS 6), as well as the Joint High Speed Vessel Fortitude (JHSV 3). Extrusions used on these all-aluminum vessels make up some of the ship’s decking, superstructure and bulkheads. Some structural extrusions for both ships will also be manufactured by Taber and supplied to Austal through a contract with O’Neal Steel Corp.
Jackson (LCS 6) is the first ship awarded under Austal’s recently announced Navy contract for construction of up to an additional 10 Littoral Combat Ships to be appropriated over the following five years with a total value exceeding $3.5 billion.
Authorization to proceed with construction of JHSV 3 was granted in January 2010 and authorization to procure long lead time material for JHSV 4 & 5 was granted in June 2010. The current program with all awards is for total 10 ships for use by Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. The first ship is intended to be delivered in year 2011.
Taber operates manufacturing facilities in Russellville, Ariz., and Gulfport, Miss. The extrusions for the LCS and JHSV programs will be produced at both facilities.
According to Taber: “The use of our 8,600-ton extrusion press with its unique rectangular container and billet configuration enables us to successfully produce wide multi-void extrusions that are friction stir welded into panels. The combination of the superior metal flow patterns associated with our rectangular configuration along with the press size gives us an advantage over competitors trying to make similar extrusions with round containers on smaller presses. The unique flow pattern in this design allows us to hold much tighter tolerances for flatness, straightness and twist as well as assure that critical thickness dimensions on the internal webs are achieved. We also produce tee extrusions in various alloys that are friction stir welded into panels.”
Taber’s ability to hold tight tolerances has allowed for a significant increase in productivity infriction stir-welding rates and reduced downstream scrap and weld repairs.
Taber’s President, Mr. Bill Wetmore, commented: “Our quality and delivery record has given Austal the confidence to expand our business relationship. We look forward to working with Austal on both of these major programs for many years.”
Taber Extrusions’ unique capabilities in wide, long and complex extrusion profiles and experience in manufacturing such shapes in both the 5000 and 6000 series alloys has made Taber the extruder of choice for the next generation of aluminum ships.Taber is the only U.S. based manufacturer of 5000 series aluminum extrusions designed primarily for the shipbuilding market to maintain an uninterrupted supply for over 35 years.
June 9, 2011