The AP has reported that Austal USA marked the start of a warship project with
a keel-laying ceremony at its Mobile shipyard.
A massive aluminum keel — the spine on which the ship will be built — was already in place when guests including government officials and most of Austal's 430 employees arrived. Austal is the shipbuilder for a team led by Maine-based Bath Iron Works
, a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp., which in October won the $223 million contract to build a version of the Navy's newest vessel — the littoral combat ship
, or LCS.