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Austal Lays Keel for US Navy’s sixth Navajo T-ATS Vessel

Austal has laid the keel for the US Navy’s future USNS Billy Frank Jr. (T-ATS 11) Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship in Cell, Alabama.

The ship will function the navy’s eleventh T-ATS platform and sixth of its Navajo-class fleet.

Introduced in July 2023, the Billy Frank Jr. was named after a Nisqually Tribesman who served as a US Marine Corps officer throughout the Korean Warfare, treaty rights advocate, and environmental chief.

Frank was a member of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Fee for greater than three many years, receiving a Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Award and the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.

President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Frank a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

“The longer term Billy Frank Jr.’s keel laying marks the start of the development journey for this ship,” US Navy Auxiliary and Particular Mission Shipbuilding Program Supervisor John Lighthammer said.

“It’s an honor to be joined by members of the Nisqually Tribe and we sit up for the partnership as we spotlight their heritage.”

US Navy Navajo Fleet

Navajo T-ATS vessels are designed for fleet operations help. Every has a size of 263 toes (80 meters), a 59-foot (18-meter) beam, and a capability for 65 personnel.

The category options capabilities from the getting old Safeguard-class (T-ARS 50) rescue and salvage ships and the Powhatan-class (T-ATF 166) fleet ocean tugboats.

As well as, the Navajo vessels incorporate a typical hull able to towing numerous naval platforms and a deck spanning 6,000 sq. toes (557 sq. meters) for touchdown and different mission-specific necessities.

The vessels are powered by two Wartsila engines for a most pace of 15 knots (28 kilometers/17 miles per hour).

Alongside navy deployments, the Navajo class will probably be employed for humanitarian help, oil spill response, and wide-area surveillance duties.

The US Navy is at the moment engaged with Austal to develop 4 extra Navajo ships (T-ATS 12 to fifteen).

Gulf Island Fabrication and Bollinger Shipyards are additionally engaged on 5 Navajo vessels (T-ATS 6 to 10) for the service.