December 22, 2009
VT Halter Marine awarded T-AGS 66 contract
VT Halter Marine, has been awarded a contract worth $87 million to build an enhanced version of a T-AGS 60 Class oceanographic survey ship for the U.S. Navy. Construction of the new ship, T-AGS 66, will begin at Halter Moss Point in the first half of 2010 with delivery scheduled in 2013.
The all-steel vessel is about 107.6 m long, with a beam of 17.68 m, a 5.48 m draft and permanent accommodations for 67 persons.
The T-AGS 60 Class design eliminated conventional reduction gears and long propeller shafts to free up space for oceanographic uses. Its dynamic positioning controls thrust direction provides unparalleled ship control and maneuverability to permit precise position keeping and track line following. In addition to various enhancements of its equipment and electronics systems, the T-AGS 66 will be fitted with an 18 ft x 18 ft moonpool for through hull launch and retrieval of scientific research equipment.
Typical missions of the T-AGS 60 Class ships may include: oceanographic sampling and data collection of surface, midwater and ocean floor parameters; the launching, recovering, and towing of scientific packages both tethered and autonomous including the handling, monitoring, and servicing of remotely operated vehicles; shipboard oceanographic data processing and sample analysis; and precise navigation, track line maneuvering, and station keeping to support deep ocean and coastal surveys.
VT Halter Marine is the leading designer and builder of specialized oceanographic ships for the U.S. Navy and has experience in building the previous six ships of the T-AGS 60 Class; T-AGOS 13 through T-AGOS 18 ocean surveillance ships; a T-AGOS 23 Class SWATH ocean surveillance ship: T-AGS 51 and T-AGS 52 hydrographic survey ships; oceanographic survey ships AGOR 23, 24 and 25; and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) AGOR Ronald H. Brown as well as four fisheries survey vessels (FSVs) for NOAA.
T-AGS 60 Class ships are designed and constructed to provide multi-purpose oceanographic capabilities for the Oceanographer of the Navy. Physical, chemical and biological oceanography; multi-discipline environmental investigations; ocean engineering and marine acoustics; marine geology and geophysics; and bathymetric, gravimetric, and magnetometric surveying are performed from T-AGS 60 Class ships using the latest in oceanographic surveying equipment and other instrument packages with the ability to process and analyze the data onboard using the latest computer technology.