Tag Archives: Navajo class

Navy’s Towing Ship

Austal Limited is pleased to announce Austal USA has been awarded its first steel vessel construction contract by the United States Navy, a US$145 million (~A$198.5 million) build of two Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ships (T-ATS 11 and 12).

T-ATS
The United States Navy’s Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS) to be constructed by Austal USA

The contract modification establishes options for up to three additional T-ATS ships, which, if exercised, will bring the total cumulative value of the contract to US$385 million (~A$528.6 million).

Austal was initially awarded a US$3.6 million contract by the United States Navy for the functional design of the Navajo-class T-ATS vessels. Overnight awarded the US$145 million (~A$198.5 million) fixed-price incentive (firm target) contract modification, to include the detailed design and construction of two T-ATS 11 and 12, as well as the option for the additional ships.

The T-ATS 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.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract was an exciting milestone in the history of the company and a great demonstration of the company’s new steel shipbuilding capabilities in the United States, following on from the successful addition of steel shipbuilding in Australia.

«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», Mr. Gregg said.

The 80-metre/262.5-foot Navajo-class T-ATS has ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities, with a multi-mission common hull platform, capable of towing heavy ships. These ships will be able to support USN fleet operations and a variety of missions, including oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, and wide area search and surveillance.

Austal USA will utilise its proven ship manufacturing processes and innovative methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction and moving assembly lines; using the company’s new state-of-the-art enclosed steel production facility which is set to open in April 2022. Austal USA broke ground on its USD$100 million steel manufacturing facility in March 2020.

The T-ATS award is one of several steel shipbuilding programs Austal USA is pursuing as it diversifies its capabilities. The shipyard previously announced it had submitted a bid to build the United States Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and continues to execute a Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) concept studies and preliminary design contract for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. Austal USA’s new steel line and facility expansion also positions it well to be a follow-on Frigate yard for the United States Navy.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Patrick Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.

Cherokee Nation

A keel laying ceremony was held February 12 for the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS-7), the second ship of the Navy’s Navajo class of Towing, Salvage, and Rescue vessels. The ceremony was held near Gulf Island Shipyard at the Houma Terrebonne Civic Center.

An artist rendering of the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS-7) (U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Paul L. Archer/Released)

The keel laying ceremony formally marks the start of a ship’s life and the joining of the ship’s modular components. The keel serves as the symbolic backbone of the ship.

In attendance to authenticate the keel was Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, The Honorable Chuck Hoskin, Jr. and the ship’s sponsor and Deputy Speaker of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council, The Honorable Victoria Mitchell Vazquez.

During the ceremony, the keel authenticators etched their initials into the keel plate and declared it to be «truly and fairly laid».

«We are honored to have so many representatives of the Cherokee Nation in attendance to celebrate this early milestone», said Mike Kosar, support ships, boats and craft program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «The ship is critical to the operations of our fleet, and will soon sail with the pride and determination of the Cherokee people, which it is named to honor».

The Navajo-class will provide ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations. The current capabilities are provided by three T-ATF 166 and two T-ARS 50 class ships, several of which will reach the end of their expected service lives later this year.

Navajo-class ships will be capable of towing U.S. Navy ships and will have 6,000 square feet/557 square meters of deck space for embarked systems. The platform will be 263 feet/80 meters long, have a beam of 59 feet/18 meters, and can carry a load of nearly 2,000 tons.

In addition to the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS-7), Gulf Island Shipyard is constructing the future USNS Navajo (T-ATS-6) and is under contract for the detail design and construction of the future USNS Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek (T-ATS-8).

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats, and craft.