The following is text of a news release from VT Halter Marine:
(PASCAGOULA, Miss.) — VT Halter Marine has been awarded the contract for industrial studies for the auxiliary general ocean surveillance ship (T-AGOS(X)) program.
The U.S. Navy awarded the $981,000 contract for the new T-AGOS series of vessels, which ultimately will replace the existing fleet of four T-AGOS 19 and one T-AGOS 23 small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) ships, which are reaching the end of their service lives. The contract is for a 12-month study to perform trade-off studies and analyses of the Navy design.
“We have designed, constructed and delivered more oceanographic research and surveillance vessels than any other single U.S. shipyard,” said Bob Merchent, president and CEO of VT Halter Marine. “In fact, we finished the T-AGOS 23, named the USNS Impeccable, in 1995. For generations, Halter Marine’s shipbuilders have proudly supported our armed forces, and we are honored to continue that tradition today.”
Halter Marine has teamed with Gibbs & Cox as the ship designer. T-AGOS has a SWATH style design and is built to tow a surveillance towed array sensor system. The catamaran design prevents it from rolling in heavy seas. T-AGOS will be designed for a 30-year service life.
“Gibbs & Cox has nine decades of designing naval ships, and we are excited about this partnership,” said Kevin Amis, executive vice president of operations. “We have assembled partners that have excellent performance records for capability and technology requirements of the T-AGOS program.”
The Navy is expected to award the design detail and construction contract for T-AGOS in 2022 with an anticipated delivery of the first vessel in 2025. It is expected the design and construction contract will include one vessel and options for six others.