Navy To Choose Austal For T-ATS

Navy To Choose Austal For T-ATS
USNS Apache | Image by NAVYPIX - Richard Scott

The U.S. Navy plans to change shipbuilder for its new Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ship (T-ATS), Janes reports. Although Gulf Island Shipyards of Houma, Louisiana, has completed the first five of the eight planned vessels, it was acquired by Bollinger Shipyards in April. Now, the Navy is instead pursuing a sole-source award with Austal USA of Mobile. Such a contract could put Austal’s under-construction steel shipbuilding capability (BBN #34) to early use. The Navajo class will replace three Powhatan- and two Safeguard-class ships now coming to the end of their lives and is expected to provide the Navy with oceangoing capabilities to support fleet operations. According to a previous report by FOX10, Austal was already awarded a $3.6-million contract by the Navy for the functional design of the T-ATS line, which is to be operational in April 2022.

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