Gulf Island Shipyard Lays Keel for Future USNS Cherokee Nation

 In GDI, Sea, Space

The Future USNS Cherokee Nation Initials being etched into the keel plate. Credit: Landon Hutchens II, U.S. Navy.

Gulf Island Shipyard has laid the keel for the future USNS Cherokee Nation (T‑ATS 7) ship at the Houma Terrebonne Civic Center in Houma, Louisiana, US.

T‑ATS 7 is the second ship of the US Navy’s Navajo-class of towing, sal­vage, and rescue ves­sels.

The ship was chris­tened in June 2019 in honour of Cherokee Nation.

Programme Executive Office Ships, sup­port ships, boats and craft pro­gramme man­ag­er Mike Kosar said: “We are hon­oured to have so many rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Cherokee Nation in atten­dance to cel­e­brate this early mile­stone.

“The ship is crit­i­cal to the oper­a­tions of our fleet and will soon sail with the pride and deter­mi­na­tion of the Cherokee people, which it is named to honour.”

There are cur­rent­ly three T‑ATF 166-class and two T‑ARS 50-class ships with the US Military Sealift Command con­duct patrol and recuse oper­a­tions in the sea. Most of these ships are expect­ed to com­plete their ser­vice lives by the end of this year.

The 263ft-long and 59ft-wide Navajo-class ships have 6,000ft² of deck space and are designed to carry around 2,000t of load.

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Featuring ocean-going tug, sal­vage, and rescue capa­bil­i­ties, the US Navy will deploy the ships to sup­port fleet oper­a­tions, such as towing the service’s ships.

In November 2019, the keel for the lead ship of the Navajo class, the future USNS Navajo (T‑ATS 6), was laid at the same ship­yard.

The Gulf Island Shipyard is also respon­si­ble for the detailed design and con­struc­tion of the future USNS Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek (T‑ATS 8).

In July 2019, Gulf Island Shipyard award­ed a con­tract for the deliv­ery of deck machin­ery to MacGregor for the con­struc­tion of T‑ATS.

Source: Naval Technology

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