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Wednesday, October 6, 2021 

Austal USA has been awarded its first steel vessel construction contract by the US Navy, a US$ 145m (A$ 198.5m) build of two Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ships (T-ATS 11 and 12).

The contract establishes options for up to three additional T-ATS ships. Austal was initially awarded a US$ 3.6m contract by the US Navy for the functional design of the Navajo-class T-ATS vessels. The T-ATS contract is the first steel ship construction programme awarded by the Navy to Austal USA and will be the first to be delivered in the new steel shipbuilding facilities nearing completion at the shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

Austal CEO Paddy Gregg said: “This is great news for Austal USA as they enter a new era of steel shipbuilding in the United States, supporting the Navy’s requirements for steel ships.”

The Navajo-class T-ATS has ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities, with a multi-mission common hull platform, capable of towing heavy ships. These ships will be able to support USN fleet operations and a variety of missions, including oil spill response, humanitarian assistance, and wide area search and surveillance.

Austal USA will utilise its ship manufacturing processes and innovative methods that incorporate lean manufacturing principles, modular construction and moving assembly lines; using the company’s new enclosed steel production facility which is set to open in April 2022.

The T-ATS award is one of several steel shipbuilding programs Austal USA is pursuing as it diversifies its capabilities. The shipyard previously announced it had submitted a bid to build the US Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter and continues to execute a Light Amphibious Warship (LAW) concept studies and preliminary design contract for the US Navy and US Marine Corps.

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