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By Team Ships Public Affairs
Construction began on the Navy’s newest towing, salvage and rescue ship, T-ATS 11 at Austal USA’s Mobile, Alabama shipyard, July 11.
The Navajo-class (T-ATS) 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 Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF 166) and Rescue and Salvage Ships (T-ARS 50) class ships.
“It’s always a great Navy day when we start construction of a new ship to be used to do the Nation’s bidding,” said Rear Adm. Tom Anderson, Program Executive Officer, Ships. “It’s an exceptional Navy day when the start of construction also marks the expansion of the shipbuilding industrial base, as it does today, as Austal puts its new facility to work building its very first steel ship, a Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship, T-ATS 11.”
Navajo-class ships will be Multi Mission Common Hull Platforms based on commercial offshore Anchor Handling Tug Supply (AHTS) vessels. T-ATS supports current missions including, but not limited to: towing, salvage, rescue, oil spill response, humanitarian assistance and wide area search and surveillance. They also enable future rapid capability initiatives, supporting modular payloads with hotel services and appropriate interfaces.
T-ATS 11 marks the first steel ship in Austal’s ship construction program. Austal is also contracted to build T-ATS 12, with options for additional ships.
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft.