US Navy awards towing, salvage and rescue ship design and construction contract

The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Gulf Island Shipyards a $63.5 million contract for the detail design and construction of the new Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS). 

Designated as T-ATS(X) by NAVSEA, the new class of vessels will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF and T-ARS 50 class ships in service with the US Military Sealift Command.

This contract includes options for seven additional vessels which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $522.7 million.

The first ship in the class will be built at the company’s shipyard in Houma, Louisiana, and is expected to be completed by September 2020.

The T-ATS(X) will serve as open ocean towing vessels and will additionally support salvage operations and submarine rescue missions.

NAVSEA requirements state that the commercial vessel parent design must have a dynamic positioning system meeting at least American Bureau of Shipping DPS-2 requirements. Other prerequisites include a minimum bollard pull rating of 130 short tons and a working deck area of 5,000 square feet with a minimum 131 feet in length by a minimum of 36 feet in width.