March 19 (UPI) -- Gulf Island Shipyards was awarded a contract from the U.S. Navy for design and construction services for the Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ship, or T-ATS.
The deal, announced Friday by the Department of Defense, is valued at more than $63.5 million under the terms of a firm-fixed-price and fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract.
The agreement, between Naval Sea Systems Command and Gulf Island Shipyards, a small business out of Houma, La., enables the company to design and construct the T-ATS class naval vessel.
The Navy seeks to replace the Safeguard Class of Salvage and Rescue Ship and the Powhatan Class Fleet Ocean Tug with the T-ATS.
The contract includes options for seven additional vessels that potentially could bring the cumulative value of the deal up to more than $522.7 million.
Work on the contract will occur in multiple locations in the United States, as well as Norway, and is expected to be complete by September 2020.
The total amount of the contract will be obligated to Gulf Island Shipyards at the time of award from Navy fiscal 2016 shipbuilding and conversion funds.
The obligated funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year, the Pentagon said.