BURNS HARBOR, Ind. (AP) — The 337-foot USS Illinois submarine was built with steel made at the Arcelor Mittal USA factory in northwest Indiana.
Construction on the $2.7 billion Virginia-class submarine began in March 2011. First lady Michelle Obama christened the vessel at a Connecticut shipyard in October, and it was commissioned in December.
The nuclear-powered attack submarine features ArcelorMittal plates throughout the hull, including the nuclear reactor, (Munster) Times (http://bit.ly/1Zoare3 ) reported. But it isn't the only Navy vessel that the steelmaker has provided materials to build.
ArcelorMittal USA has "supplied steel plate to virtually every submarine in the Navy's existing fleet," according to plate sales manager Matt Habenicht.
"As the only 'made and manufactured in the USA' producer of Navy armor plate, we are currently the sole qualified U.S. supplier of these grades of steel to the Navy, especially on these Virginia-class submarines," he said in a news reelease.
Plate made at the Porter County facility also goes into Littoral Combat Ships and DDG Destroyers. The factoryalso supplied plate for the new aircraft carrier CVN 78 Gerald R. Ford.
"ArcelorMittal and legacy companies have a long, rich history of supporting our nation's defense capabilities," Habenicht said.
"There is tremendous pride for our employees in this effort. When you know one of your family members or neighbors has a child or relative that may be aboard one of these ships, you pay extra attention to details when manufacturing their products."
The steel mill in Burns Harbor makes half of the 50,000 tons of steel needed for an aircraft carrier, U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky said last week while addressing the Lake County Economic Alliance.
Visclosky recently worked with fellow members of the Congressional Steel Caucus to maintain a requirement for the military to purchase only American-made steel.