WASHINGTON — Austal USA said this week its board has promoted Rusty Murdaugh to president of the shipbuilding company.

Murdaugh joined Austal USA in 2017 as chief financial officer. He has been serving as interim president since February, when Craig Perciavalle resigned.

Murdaugh previously served in executive positions at Esterline, Avnet, United Technologies Corporation and Honeywell.

Austal USA said Murdaugh, as interim president, “aggressively led the addition of steel shipbuilding to the Austal USA manufacturing operations and led the company’s facility expansion in Mobile by acquiring additional waterfront and services capability on the Mobile River.”

The Austal USA shipyard in Alabama is ahead of schedule in adapting its facilities to be able to manufacture steel ships. Defense News reported earlier this month the company is investing about $200 million to improve and grow its shipyard.

The company said it is now focused on its bid to build the U.S. Coast Guard’s offshore patrol cutter and its work on a preliminary design and concept study for the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship program.

Marjorie Censer is the editor of Defense News. She also serves as the fill-in host of television news program Government Matters. She was previously editor of Inside Defense. She also worked as the defense editor at Politico and as a staff writer at the Washington Post, the Carroll County Times and the Princeton Packet.

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