Austal USA has been engaged to build its fifth Navajo Class towing, salvage and rescue ship under a $115 million fixed-price incentive contract option from the United States Navy.
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The company is already under contract for four T-ATS, having received awards for T-ATS 13 and 14 in July 2022 and T-ATS 11 and 12 in October 2021.
Austal Limited chief executive officer Paddy Gregg said the contract highlights Austal USA’s growing steel shipbuilding capability, following the start of construction on T-ATS 11 and 12, and more recently the Auxiliary Floating Dock Medium, for the United States Navy.
“Austal USA’s steel shipbuilding capabilities and capacity continues to impress, with three steel vessels now underway in Mobile, Alabama; in addition to the multiple aluminium vessels and component projects also under construction,” Mr Gregg said.
“In addition to the LCS, EPF, and T-ATS programs, construction has just commenced on the steel auxiliary floating dock medium, which will further demonstrate Austal USA’s capabilities and capacity to deliver large steel vessels for the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard.
“The Austal USA team are also delivering submarine modules for the Virginia Class submarines and aircraft elevators for the Gerald R Ford Class aircraft carriers, so they are without doubt making a significant contribution to the United States’ defence industrial base.”
T-ATS ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue ships are designed to support fleet operations with a multi-mission common hull platform capable of towing heavy ships. The ships can provide oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, search and rescue and surveillance.
Construction is scheduled to commence on T-ATS 13 and 14 in the second half of this year, T-ATS 15 is scheduled to commence construction in the first half of next year, with delivery planned in late 2027 at the company’s state-of-the-art enclosed steel production facility in Mobile, Alabama.
Austal USA is currently constructing the United States Navy’s Independence-variant littoral combat ships and Spearhead Class expeditionary fast transport ships and has commenced construction of a 211-metre steel auxiliary floating drydock (medium).
Earlier this year in May 2023, the company was awarded a contract for the detail design and construction of up to seven steel T-AGOS ocean surveillance ships worth up to US$3.2 billion and in 2022, the company was awarded a contract for up to 11 steel offshore patrol cutters for the United States Coast Guard, worth up to US $3.3 billion.