Naval Sea Systems Command last week awarded Gulf Island Shipyards LLC a $130 million modification to exercise options to build two more Navajo-class towing, salvage and rescue ships (T-ATS).
The contract announcement from March 25 noted this award also covers the performance of unique item identification on the T-ATS 6-class ship program. The mod itself includes options for associated support efforts related to the ship design and construction for special studies, engineering and industrial services, provisioned items orders, unique item identification and data rights license.
The work will occur at the company’s facility in Houma, La., and is expected to be finished by October 2022.
The full contract amount was obligated at time of award using fiscal year (FY) 2020 Navy shipbuilding and conversion funds, which will expire at the end of this fiscal year.
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts namechecked this award as an example of how the Navy is trying to push more awards out faster to help shore up the defense industrial base’s cashflow and keeping work steady amid the COVID-19 pandemic (Defense Daily, March 25)
The Navajo-class ships replace the capabilities of the retiring T-ARS 50-class rescue and salvage ship and T-ATF 166 fleet ocean tug.
The FY 2020 defense appropriations bill provided $150 million for two T-ATS ships while the Navy’s FY ’21 budget request is seeking $168 million for two more Navajo-class ships (Defense Daily, Feb. 10).