JULY 11, 2016—NAVSEA has awarded four U.S. shipyards — Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Fincantieri Marine Group, and VT Halter Marine — Phase 1 design study contracts, worth just under $200,000 each, for the T-ATS (X), a new class of towing, salvage, and rescue ship that will replace the Navy's existing Powhatan-class (T-ATF 166) and Safeguard-class (T-ARS 50) vessels.
The T-ATS(X) will operate as the primary open ocean towing vessel for the Navy and key requirements are that it have a bollard of a minimum 130 short tons, have ABS DPS-2 Notation or equivalent and provide and unobstructed deck space of a minimum of 5,000 sq. ft.
These are similar to offshore oil and gas industry requirements and the program will acquire state-of-the-art commercially-available American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) classed vessels based on existing commercial vessel designs.
Vessels that are not classed to ABS Rules, Notations, and Guides must be classed by an International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) member.
At the completion of Phase I, which has a period of performance of approximately 100 days, the Navy plans to conduct another unrestricted competition for the Detail Design and Construction acquisition phase.
An offeror does not have to participate in Phase I to be eligible for the Detail Design & Construction Phase, which will be awarded in FY 2017.
Lead Ship delivery is planned for the FY 2020.