The Austal USA board of directors announced the election of Rusty Murdaugh as president of Austal USA effective Sept. 9. Murdaugh joined Austal USA in 2017 as chief financial officer and has been serving as interim president since February.

Murdaugh, a long-time veteran of the defense industry, brings sound business acumen and fiscal management skills to Austal USA. Before Austal, Murdaugh held leadership positions with Esterline Corp., Avnet, United Technologies (formerly Goodrich), and Honeywell

“Over the course of the last six months, the company has secured multiple contracts under Rusty’s leadership and is well-positioned for continued growth,” Austal USA board chairman Larry Cavaiola said in a statement announcing the election results. “Rusty has a clear strategic vision to grow the company’s business and lead Austal USA’s worldwide operations.”

As interim president, Murdaugh 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.

“I am honored to be selected to lead this great company,” Murdaugh stated.  “I am excited about the opportunity to lead the world’s finest shipbuilders, and I’m looking forward to the growth ahead in the coming years as we win new shipbuilding and ship maintenance contracts.”

The election comes as the company grows its portfolio of new construction, service and support, and autonomous vehicle contracts. The company has submitted a bid to build the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and is executing a preliminary design and concept study for the U.S. Navy’s Light Amphibious Warship program. The company also recently secured two services and maintenance contracts, expanding its post-delivery business.