The US Navy has ordered two more tugs as part of a major overhaul of its towage fleet as it seeks to enhance warship marine services
In its latest contract award, two Z-drive tugs will be built by Modutech Marine Inc, in Tacoma, Washington state.
The US Navy already has six tugs on order in the YT 808 Class as it prepares to replace ageing towage assets and expand the fleet to handle its new generation of surface ships, submarines and barges.
Modutech Marine turned to Robert Allan for the latest tugboat designs for naval vessel towage and chose the RAscal 1800-Z design to build at least two YT 815 class tugs.
These 19.2-m tugs will have bollard pull of around 30 tonnes from propulsion that will comply with the latest US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.
Robert Allan updated the design to include new EPA Tier 4 engines and associated systems and extensive fendering above and below the waterline to handle US Navy surface ships, submarines and barges.
This also incorporates feedback from commercial and naval operators of the existing Z-Tech 4500 tugs to improve performance and efficiency.
Robert Allan said these tugs are configured to operate mostly during daylight hours, but there will be accommodation for up to four seafarers.
This design has a moulded beam of 9.4 m and moulded hull depth of 3.5 m. Its propulsion comes from two main diesel-electric engines each developing 970 kW of power driving Z-drive thrusters.
Modutech Marine will commence construction of the first of these tugs in Q1 2020 and has an option to build the second later in the year.
Meanwhile, US inland marine transportation and services company Campbell Transportation Co has promoted Kyle Buese to the role of president, effective 1 January 2020. He was an executive vice president for two years and will replace the retiring Mike Monahan. Peter Stephaich will remain chairman and chief executive of the Pittsburgh-based tugboat operator.