Gulf Island to Build Another Two Vessels for the US Navy
The U.S. Navy has exercised its options to order the fourth and fifth towing, salvage and rescue ships (T-ATS) from Houma, La. shipbuilder Gulf Island Fabrication. The Navy has remaining options for three additional vessels.
The Navajo-class vessels will provide oceangoing tug, salvage and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations, replacing three T-ATF 166 and two T-ARS 50 class ships, which reach the end of their expected service lives starting in 2020.
A detail design and construction contract was awarded to Gulf Island in March 2018 based on the Wärtsilä VS 4612 anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel design. Navajo-class ships will be capable of towing U.S. Navy ships and will have 6,000 square feet of deck space for embarked systems. The platform will be 263 feet long, have a beam of 59 feet, and can carry a load of 1,796 tons.
The builder held a keel laying ceremony for the first ship in the series, the future USNS Navajo (T-ATS 6), in October 2019. The lead vessel is expected to be completed in March 2021.
"We are honored that the Navy has exercised the options for two additional vessels. This is great news for our employees in Houma, La. as it will provide additional stability during these uncertain times,” said Richard Heo, Gulf Island's President and Chief Executive Officer. “These projects support our ongoing efforts to diversify our backlog beyond offshore oil and gas and provide valuable underpinning work for our Houma team into 2021 and 2022.”
In addition to T-ATS 6, Gulf Island Shipyard is under contract for the detail design and construction of the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7) and USNS Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek (T-ATS 8).