Gulf Island Fabrication laid the keel for the future USNS Cherokee Nation, the US Navy’s second Navajo-class towing, salvage, and rescue vessel, on Wednesday, February 12.
Once completed, the vessel will be capable of towing US Navy ships and will have 557 square metres of deck space for embarked systems. The platform will be 80 metres long, 17.9 metres wide, and capable of carrying a load of nearly 2,000 tonnes.
The Navajo-class will provide ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support fleet operations. The current capabilities are provided by three T-ATF 166 and two T-ARS 50 class ships, several of which will reach the end of their expected service lives later this year.
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