US Navy exercises option for two more Navajo-class ships under $128M contract

Photo: US Navy

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Gulf Island Shipyards a $128.5 million contract modification to exercise options for the construction of additional two towing, salvage and rescue ships.

These will be the second and third ships in the class which will be known as Navajo-class, in honor of the major contributions the Navajo people have made to the armed forces.

Designated T-ATS 6, the new class of vessels will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF 166 and T-ARS 50 class ships.

According to the contract modification, work under the contract is expected to be complete by November 2021.

The initial contract includes options for potentially seven additional vessels, and each additional ship will be named in honor of prominent Native Americans or Native American tribes.

Gulf Island Shipyards was awarded a $63.5 million contract for the detail design and construction of the new towing, salvage and rescue ship which will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF 166 and T-ARS 50 class ships in service with the US Military Sealift Command.

The T-ATS will serve as open ocean towing vessels and will additionally support salvage operations and submarine rescue missions. The first ship in the class will be built at the company’s shipyard in Houma, Louisiana, and is expected to be completed in March 2021.

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