The US Navy has awarded Austal USA a $145 million contract to build two Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ships (T-ATS 11 and 12).
The contract, which includes options for up to three additional T-ATS ships, is the first steel vessel construction contract awarded to the company by the US Navy.
Navajo-class ships will be able to support fleet operations and a variety of missions, including oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, and wide area search and surveillance. The service already has five ships in the class on order with Gulf Island Shipyards.
Austal was initially awarded a US$3.6 million contract by the navy for the functional design of the Navajo-class T-ATS vessels. The construction contract is the first steel ship construction program awarded by the United States Navy to Austal USA and will be the first program to be delivered in the new steel shipbuilding facilities nearing completion at the shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.
“This is great news for Austal USA as they enter a new era of steel shipbuilding in the United States, supporting the Navy’s requirements for steel ships,” Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said.
Navajo-class ships will be capable of towing US Navy ships and will have 6,000 square feet of deck space for embarked systems. The vessels have a beam of 17.9 meters, and can carry a load of nearly 2,000 tons.