Bollinger Shipyards lays keel for US Navy’s 10th Navajo-class T-ATS

Defense company Bollinger Shipyards has held a keel-laying ceremony for the future USNS Muscogee Creek Nation, the tenth Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ship (T-ATS) being built for the US Navy.

Bollinger Shipyards

As informed, the ceremony took place on March 20 in Houma, Louisiana.

The vessel is the fifth T-ATS being constructed by Bollinger since acquiring the program in April 2021. Furthermore, this is the first U.S. Navy vessel to carry the name Muscogee Creek Nation.

“Bollinger is honored to be entrusted by the Navy to build the Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship. Today’s ceremony is a major milestone in the construction of the future USNS Muscogee Creek Nation, the fifth of five T-ATS ships to be built by Bollinger,” said Ben Bordelon, President and CEO of Bollinger Shipyards.

“The T-ATS program is an important part of our expanding portfolio and relationship with the Navy as we work to support critical fleet modernization efforts.”

Named for the Muscogee Creek Nation, the ship honors the self-governed Native American tribe located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

The Navajo class provides ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations. T-ATS replaces and fulfills the capabilities that were previously provided by the Powhatan-class fleet ocean tug (T-ATF 166) and Safeguard-class rescue and salvage ships (T-ARS 50) class ships.

This class is a new series of T-ATS being constructed for the U.S. Navy. The Navajo class is a multi-mission common hull platform that will be deployed to support a range of missions such as towing, rescue, salvage, humanitarian assistance, oil spill response and wide-area search and surveillance operations using unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

According to Bollinger, the vessels will replace the existing Powhatan-class T-ATF fleet ocean tugs and Safeguard-class T-ARS rescue and salvage ships in service with the US Military Sealift Command.

In addition to T-ATS 10, Bollinger is constructing USNS Navajo (T-ATS 6), USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7), USNS Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek (T-ATS 8) and the USNS Lenni Lenape (T-ATS 9).

Recently, the shipbuilder delivered a new fast response cutter (FRC) to the U.S. Coast Guard.

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