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T-ATS(X) Navajo towing, salvage and rescue ships

T-ATS(X) towing, salvage and rescue Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer announced 2 March 2019 that the new class of Towing, Salvage, and Rescue ship will be named Navajo in honor of the major contributions the Navajo people have made to the armed forces. 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 this class will be named USNS Navajo and designated T-ATS 6. T-ATS(X) vessels will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs and will replace the current T-ATF and T-ARS 50 class ships in service with the US Military Sealift Command. New ships planned for future procurement or for replacement of legacy ships are annotated with (X) until their class has been named, such as FFG(X) and T-ATS(X).

The Navy has four Powhatan (T-ATF 168)-class fleet ocean tugs and four Safeguard (T-ARS 50)-class salvage ships to support towing, salvage, diving, and submarine rescue operations. These ships are reaching the ends of their service lives and require re-capitalization. Due to changes in technology, the latest diving and submarine rescue systems are now modularized and can be embarked upon a variety of ships that meet certain minimum requirements. A dedicated purpose-built salvage and rescue ship is no longer required, and the T-ATF and T-ARS ships will be re-placed with a single common-hull towing, salvage and rescue ship, T-ATS(X). The T-ATS(X) will be built to commercial standards and will be manned by civilian mariners and operated by the Military Sealift Command. They will be able to support Navy towing, salvage, diving and rescue missions.

Two T-ARS and one T-ATF were to be inactivated in FY 2017. Contract award for the first T-ATS(X) was iniitally expected in the summer 2017, with delivery of the first ship in FY 2020. Eight T-ATS(X)s are planned. The NAVSEA contracting process requires the Small Business Office to acknowledge and sign off on acquisition strategies, providing an additional level of review and scrutiny. The PEO Ships’ process for reviewing historically unrestricted procurements to determine opportunities for small business participation as prime contractors encompasses the following actions. PEO Ships programs make extensive use of Requests for Information (RFI) to determine if specific tasks within the unrestrictive procurement can be performed by small businesses to meet the requirements.

In November 2016 the Naval Sea Systems Command issued an unrestricted solicitation (N00024-17-R-2207) for the Detail Design and Construction of up to eight Towing, Salvage, and Rescue (T-ATS) Ships. The Government anticipated a single award contract with a base quantity of one and options for an additional seven ships over the life of the contract. The T-ATS will operate as the primary open ocean towing vessel for the U. S. Navy, and will have salvage operations and submarine rescue mission support capabilities. The T-ATS will be based on existing commercial towing offshore vessel designs which provide similar capabilities to those needed for U.S. Navy operations.

Potential sources were required to base their T-ATS designs on a mature commercial vessel parent design which has been previously constructed or is currently being constructed. The commercial vessel parent design must have a dynamic positioning system meeting at least American Bureau of Shipping DPS-2 requirements.

Market Survey NO. PM4-MTP-0001 of 15 March 2018 was for One (1) US Vessel to Support General-Purpose Ocean Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Operations in coastal and deep ocean areas including Navy Unique Deep Submergence Rescue Operations. The ship should be capable of general-purpose ocean towing, salvage, and rescue operations in coastal and deep ocean areas including Navy unique deep submergence rescue operations. Typical operations would include:

  • Conducting manned and Remotely Operated Vehicle diving operations including saturation diving
  • Conducting salvage/survey assessment
  • Towing craft, barges, and Navy vessels
  • Conducting submarine rescue
  • Salvage of grounded/stranded vessels and craft
  • Lifting sunken objects
  • Conducting underwater repairs

Vessel will be home ported in Norfolk, Virginia. Berth will be provided by the Government. Operations will occur along the east coast of the United States.

On 19 March 2018 Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. announced that, through its subsidiary Gulf Island Shipyards, L.L.C., it had signed a contract for the construction and delivery of one (1) Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship (T-ATS) Vessel with the U.S. Navy with an option for seven (7) additional vessels. Revenue backlog and man-hours estimates associated with this project will be included in the Company’s financial results for the quarter ending March 31, 2018.

Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, with fabrication facilities located in Louisiana and Texas, is a leading fabricator of complex steel structures and marine vessels used for Oil & Gas production and transportation, petrochemical and industrial facilities, power generation and alternative energy projects. Gulf Island also provides related installation, hookup, commissioning, repair and maintenance services with specialized crews and integrated project management capabilities.

Under the March 16, 2018 Contract Award Number N0002418C207 for the Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship (N00024-17-R-2207), the Government intended to procure eight ships over eight years and is seeking feedback on pricing options (i.e. Firm-Fixed Price (FFP) for eight years, FFP with reopeners, etc.) and typical commercial financing terms.

During construction, the Contractor shall keep the ship free of chips, shavings, refuse, dirt, cigarette butts, water, and other extraneous matter. The Contractor shall keep piping and ducting openings sealed prior to and after installation into the ship. The Contractor shall clean tanks and voids. Tanks and voids shall pass Government inspection before being closed. The Contractor shall remove rubbish from places which are to be permanently closed or which may become inaccessible. Appropriate measures shall be taken to minimize wear and damage incident to construction, and to prevent corrosion or other deterioration. The Contractor shall activate electric motor strip heaters as soon as power can be made available. Otherwise, the Contractor shall provide heat lamps or other heating devices for all electric motors and other equipment subject to damage from condensation.

The Contractor shall protect machine parts, both interior and exterior, against corrosion and deterioration during the interval between manufacturing and ship delivery. Preservative on working parts shall be removed prior to operation of the machinery or equipment. If removal of storage preservative is necessary for testing the machinery or equipment before installation on the ship, the Contractor shall return machinery or equipment to a preserved state and protect the machinery or equipment in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Contractor shall provide crew familiarization for the initial crew of each ship. Designated Government personnel may be included. Total number of personnel shall include up to 30 people. The familiarization shall be conducted by Contractor subject matter experts and/or equipment vendor representatives. The Contractor shall provide a vendor or manufacturer representative during familiarization for the following shipboard course modules: engines, Bridge and Machinery control systems, Dynamic Positioning System, salvage crane, and towing equipment. The familiarization shall be presented over five consecutive days (40 hours minimum) between Acceptance Trials (AT) and Ship Delivery (SD).

Trials shall be performed in accordance with SNAME Technical and Research Bulletin No. 3-47, “Guide for Sea Trials”, Regulatory Body requirements and the requirements specified herein. Trials shall include all "First of Class" testing and "All Ship" items, as well as Thrusters, Low Speed Controllability and Other Auxiliary Systems Tests. The Shipbuilder shall perform the Ahead Propulsion Plant, Maximum Attainable Power and Full RPM Tests during each sea trial.

This approach has been particularly successful as evidenced by the Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ships (T-ATS) shipbuilding contract changed from 100% unrestricted to 100% small business, where a Small Business Set-Aside for up to 8 T-ATS ships was awarded to Gulf Island Shipyards, with a potential total value of $523 million, to include construction of the lead ship as well as options for the other seven ships planned for the class.

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Page last modified: 16-03-2019 15:33:25 ZULU