The US Navy has exercised a contract option with Austal for the construction of an additional two Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue ships.
The yet-to-be-named T-ATS 13 and 14 will be built by Austal USA under a $156.1 million contract.
With the award, the company is now under contract for four T-ATS, having received awards for the first two ships in October 2021.
Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg said the latest contract award re-affirmed the US Navy’s confidence in Austal USA’s capabilities as a steel shipbuilder, following the start of construction on T-ATS 11, earlier this month. The T-ATS contract represents Austal’s first steel shipbuilding contract with the US Navy, as the company has previously only built aluminium-hulled vessels.
“It’s a great sign of confidence by the Navy, in the Austal USA team’s ability to deliver both steel and aluminium ships simultaneously, that they have awarded a contract for another two vessels.
“Congratulations to the Austal USA team on yet another multiple steel vessel contract, which will go even further to demonstrate the company’s diverse capabilities, in aluminium and steel.”
T-ATS is an ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue ship designed to support the US Navy’s fleet operations, with a multi-mission common hull platform capable of towing heavy ships. The ships are capable of supporting a variety of missions, including oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, search and rescue and surveillance.
Austal expects to begin construction on T-ATS 13 and 14 in the second half of fiscal 2023 and first half of 2024, with delivery planned for 2025 and 2026.
In addition to T-ATS, Austal USA is currently constructing the US Navy’s Independence-variant littoral combat ship, having delivered the 16th ship in the class (future USS Santa Barbara) last week. The company is also building Spearhead-class expeditionary fast transport vessels and is under contract for the construction of a 211 meter steel auxiliary floating drydock medium. The company was also recently awarded a contract for up to 11 steel Offshore Patrol Cutters for the United States Coast Guard, worth up to US $3.3 billion.