US Navy to receive new class of tugboats
The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command is set to receive new Navajo-class towing and salvage vessels in 2021, the navy announced on 3 May.
The new tugboats will replace the Powhatan-class T-ATF fleet tugs and the Safeguard-class T-ARS rescue and salvage vessels.They will provide towing, submarine rescue and salvage capabilities.
The improvements to the new vessel design over its predecessors include a significant bollard pull increase that will enable the ship to tow any vessel currently in the US Navy’s inventory. The new ships feature additional deck space for submarine rescue diving and recompression system, including transfer under pressure, and a 40t heave compensating crane to assist with underwater salvage operations.
The vessel’s dynamic positioning will provide the ability to automatically maintain position and heading in the water by using its propellers and thrusters in all environmental conditions. The vessel includes berthing for an additional 42 personnel excluding crew members in two to six person staterooms. The ship will also have modern automation and engineering systems that include environmentally friendly main propulsion diesel engines.
The procurement of the new Navajo-class vessels is in alignment with the navy’s plan to expand the fleet to 355 ships. The lead ship will start construction in May 2019, with delivery of the first five ships in fiscal 2021 and 2022, followed by one ship per year through 2025.
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