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January 17, 2006

VT Halter to build fourth NOAA FSV

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has exercised its option to build a fourth Fisheries Survey Vessel (FSV) at VT Halter Marine, Inc.

The FSV is valued at approximately US $30 million.

This fourth FSV, the third and last vessel exercised under the options, is based on a novated contract for one FSV and options for three additional vessels announced in December 2002. It is expected to be delivered to NOAA in 2H2008.

The first ship, Oscar Dyson, delivered in January 2005, now operates out of Kodiak, Alaska. The second and third FSVs are now under construction at VT Halter Marine and are expected to be delivered to NOAA in mid 2006 and late 2007 respectively. With their low acoustic signatures, these FSVs have the ability to perform hydro-acoustic surveys of fish and conduct bottom and mid-water trawls while running physical and biological-oceanographic sampling during a single deployment.

"This fourth FSV will fulfill our vision to provide state-of-the-art fishery research capabilities along all the U.S. coasts," said Vice Admiral Conrad C. LAUTENBACHER Jr., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. "It will also be one of NOAA's critical links in GEOSS, the emerging Global Earth Observing System of Systems, through which we are working with our federal and international partners to develop an earth observation network for complete coverage of the planet."