US Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer has confirmed that the US Navy’s new class of towing, salvage, and rescue ship will be named Navajo in honour of the Native American tribe.
The new class of vessels will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF 166 and T-ARS 50 class ships.
The first ship of the class will be named USNS Navajo and designated T-ATS 6. It is expected to be completed in March 2021.
Gulf Island Shipyards was awarded a US$63.5 million contract for the detail design and construction of the vessels.
The contract includes options for potentially seven additional vessels, and each additional ship will be named in honour of prominent Native Americans or Native American Tribes.
The Navajo-class ships will serve as open ocean towing vessels and will additionally support salvage operations and submarine rescue missions.