The T-ATS(X) will operate as the primary open ocean towing vessel for the US Navy, and will have salvage operations and submarine rescue support capability. The T-ATS(X) programme will procure vessels based on existing commercial offshore towing vessel designs which provide similar capabilities to those needed for US Navy operations.
The US Navy requires ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue capabilities to support Fleet operations. It currently operates four T-ATF 166 ocean-going fleet tugs and four T-ARS 50 class rescue/salvage ships. Its intention is to acquire commercially available ABS-classed vessels. Vessels that are not classed to ABS rules, notations, and guidelines must be classed by an International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) member.
Routine operations of the vessels will include: towing; deep ocean search and recovery; mobile diving and salvage unit-embarked operations; submarine rescue vessel of opportunity; oil spill response; humanitarian assistance. The US Navy’s key requirements for the ocean-going tug, salvage, and rescue vessels are a bollard pull of a minimum of 130 short tons; ABS DPS-2 notation dynamic positioning capability or equivalent; and an unobstructed deck space of a minimum of 5,000ft2
NAVSEA said the US Navy plans to conduct the acquisition of the T-ATS(X) as a two-phase procurement. Phase I will result in multiple contracts for industry studies to determine if the US government’s price cap is achievable; whether other desired features can be incorporated; and what cost drivers above the price cap are. Multiple firm-fixed price contracts will be awarded in Phase I with a period of performance of approximately 100 days after contract award. Only offerors having an existing commercial parent design and facilities capable of constructing the T-ATS(X) will be considered for award.
The planned date for release of the Industry Studies RFP is the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016 (FY2016) with planned date of Phase I contract award(s) during the third quarter of FY2016. The RFP will include the T-ATS(X) Circular of Requirements. At the completion of Phase I, the US Navy plans to conduct another unrestricted competition for the detailed design and construction acquisition phase of the T-ATS(X). An offeror does not have to participate in Phase I to be eligible for the detailed design and construction phase. The Phase I and Phase II contract(s) will be awarded to the responsible offeror(s) whose proposal represents best value. The planned date for award of the detailed design and construction phase is FY2017. Lead ship delivery is planned for the FY2020.