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Trinity's Halter Marine Wins $47.2 M For Navy Oceanographic Ship

Halter Marine, Inc. of the Trinity Marine Group won a $47.2 million contract from the U.S. Navy to build a T-AGS 60 class oceanographic research ship. The contract has options for two more ships which could bring the contract value to more than $155 million. Halter is currently building three other TAGS ships for the Navy.

The vessel will be built at Halter Marine, Moss Point, Miss., with construction support from its sister shipyards Trinity Marine - Gulfport and Equitable Shipyards, Inc., New Orleans.

The vessel is based on a sleek 329-ft. (100-m) design that exceeds Navy requirements. John Dane III, president of the Trinity Marine Group, said the ships had to be ultra-quiet and as vibration-free as possible due to the high-tech sensors and other equipment aboard.

The new T-AGS ship will be almost identical to those already under construction at Halter. It will have a 58-ft. (17.7-m) beam and a 19-ft. (5.8-m) draft at full load. The T-AGS 60 class ships are designed with a common bus diesel electric propulsion system, driving twin azimuthing propulsion systems (Zdrives). The Z-drives include gear reduction and 360- degree thrust direction control in a compact unit. Elimination of conventional reduction gears and long propeller shafts frees up space for other uses. Complete thrust control provides unparalleled ship control and maneuverability to permit line precise position keeping and track following. Continuous variable control of the ship's speed can be maintained up to maximum speed.

Two, 2,435-kW and two 1,825-kW diesel generators provide power to the propulsion system, ship service and laboratories through a power conditioner. Propulsion power is derived from two 4,000-hp DC motors.

The ship will carry the latest in over-the-side sensors and sampling equipment including corers and seismic equipment, and will be equipped with the most modern computing equipment linking sensors with processing and planning functions. A typical mission might include oceanographic sampling and data processing and analysis, and precise navigation and maneuvering. The civilian-crewed vessels will be operated for the Oceanographer of the Navy by the Military Sealift Command.

T-AGS 60, the first of the new Navy oceanographic ships building at Halter, will be delivered in the fall of 1994. The newest vessel is expected to be delivered 40 months after contract signing.

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