Eastern adds contract for Army Corps hopper dredge

(PANAMA CITY, Fla.) — Eastern Shipbuilding Group has been contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to design and construct a new medium-class hopper dredge for the Department of Defense and formally received the notice to proceed. The dredge will be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton and Port St. Joe facilities and is scheduled for delivery in 2027.

“On behalf of the highly skilled workforce at Eastern, I thank the Army Corps for entrusting us with this historic hopper dredge project that will serve an indispensable role in our national maritime priorities,” said Joey D’Isernia, CEO, Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “Eastern is the only U.S. shipyard to have delivered comparable dredges in the past 15 years. We look forward to a strong partnership with USACE as we deliver this significant project on their behalf.”

Eastern Shipbuilding Group rendering

The new hopper dredge will enter the USACE’s Ready Reserve Fleet and will play a critical role in the Corps’ navigation mission and provide for safe, reliable, effective and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems for vital national security, commerce and recreation needs. The vessel will replace the 57-year-old dredge McFarland based in the Corps’ Philadelphia District. McFarland is one of four oceangoing hopper dredges owned and operated by USACE.

Eastern has a successful track record building large and complex hopper dredges for commercial customers. Recent deliveries include Douglas B. Mackie/Ellis Island delivered in 2017, Magdalen delivered in 2017, and R.B. Weeks delivered in 2023.

Eastern has again teamed with Royal IHC, a world-renowned designer and builder of dredging vessels and equipment. Royal IHC has designed a tailor-made, state-of-the-art diesel-electric hopper dredge to precisely meet USACE requirements. The hull form, based on Royal IHC’s Beagle series, provides the best balance of proven carrying capacity, dredging performance, seakeeping and open water transit operations.

Vessel specifications:

Length: 320 feet
Beam: 72 feet
Hull depth: 28 feet
Draft (hopper empty): 11 feet 3 inches
Draft (hopper full): 25 feet 6 inches
Maximum hopper capacity: 6,000 cubic yards
Maximum dredging depth: 65 feet

– Eastern Shipbuilding Group

By Professional Mariner Staff