New Class of U.S. Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships Named
The U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has announced the new class of towing, salvage and rescue ship will be named Navajo in honor of the contributions the Navajo people have made to the armed forces.
Gulf Island Shipyards was awarded a $63.5 million contract for the detail design and construction of the new vessels which will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF 166 and T-ARS 50 class ships in service with the U.S. Military Sealift Command.
The first ship in the class will be built at the company’s shipyard in Houma, Louisiana, and is expected to be completed in March 2021. She will be named USNS Navajo and designated T-ATS 6. The contract includes options for potentially seven additional vessels, and each additional ship will be named in honor of prominent Native Americans or Native American tribes.
“The Navajo people have fought and served our armed forces with honor and valor in nearly every major conflict since the birth of our nation, so it is fitting and right to name a new class of ship in their honor,” said Spencer.