An illustration of the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS).

Austal USA to Construct to Two More Navajo-Class Salvage Tugs for U.S. Navy

Mike Schuler
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July 25, 2022

The U.S. Navy has awarded Austal USA with a $156 million contract to construct two additional steel-hulled Navajo-class Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS).

The contract was awarded as a fixed-price incentive option. With the award, Austal USA is now under contract for four T-ATS, having received awards for T-ATS 11 and 12 in October 2021. Another three are under construction (T-ATS 6-8) and two on order at Bollinger Shipyards (T-ATS 9-10).

“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,” said Austal Limited CEO Paddy Gregg. Austal Limited is the Australian-based parent organization of Austal USA. “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 a new ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue ship designed to support the United States Navy’s fleet operations, capable of supporting a variety of missions including ocean-going towing, oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, search and rescue and surveillance. The vessels will replace the existing Powhatan-class T-ATF fleet ocean tugs and Safeguard-class T-ARS rescue and salvage ships.

Construction on T-ATS 13 and 14 will commence in the second half of 2023 and first half of 2024 with deliveries planned in the second half of 2025 and first half of 2026, respectively.

In addition to T-ATS, Austal USA is currently constructing the United States Navy’s Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ship and Spearhead-class Expeditionary Fast Transport 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 U.S. Coast Guard, worth up to $3.3 billion.

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