The US Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded VT Halter Marine a $9 million contract for further design engineering, procurement of long-lead time material and limited advanced production of the Oceanographic Survey Ship (T-AGS 67).
The T-AGS 67 will be a follow-on ship to the T-AGS 60-class program which performed acoustical, biological, physical and geophysical surveys as part of the Military Sealift Command’s special mission program.
VT Halter Marine will perform most of the work under the contract in Pascagoula, Mississippi and is expected to complete it by May 2019.
The company was selected for the program because the requirements of T-AGS 67 require detailed knowledge and familiarity with the performance characteristics of T-AGS 66 and the T-AGS 60-class program.
T-AGS ships gather data that provides much of the military’s information on the ocean environment. The collected data helps to improve technology in undersea warfare and enemy ship detection. The oceanographic and hydrographic survey ships’ multibeam, wide-angle precision sonar systems make it possible to continuously chart a broad strip of ocean floor.
The Pathfinder-class can carry 34-foot hydrographic survey launches and can collect data in water depths of up to 4,000 meters. T-AGS 66, the most recent ship in the fleet, is over 7 meters longer at 107 meters and is equipped with an 18 foot by 18 foot moon pool for deploying and retrieving mission systems, including autonomous underwater vehicles.