The U.S. Navy christened the newest oceanographic research vessel Kilo Moana (AGOR 26) during a 7:45 a.m. ceremony at Atlantic Marine, Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 17, 2001.
The Honorable Daniel Inouye, U.S. Senator from Hawaii, was the ceremony’s principal speaker, and his wife, Margaret Inouye served as ship sponsor. In the time-honored Navy tradition, Mrs. Inouye broke a bottle of champagne across the bow and formally named Kilo Moano, which is Hawaiian for Oceanographer.
Kilo Moana is designed to perform a broad spectrum of oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas. Research ranges from physical, biological and chemical oceanography to environmental investigations, ocean surveys, engineering, marine acoustics, marine geology and geophysics. Future research conducted aboard the ship will underlie critical decisions that will impact our earth for generations to come.
As part of the nation’s University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System, the ship will be capable of tasks such as: sampling and data collection of air, surface, midwater, and sea floor parameters; full ocean depth sea floor surveys; launching, towing, and recovery of science packages; handling and servicing both tethered and independent remotely operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles; deployment and recovery of deep-sea moorings as well as boat operations; and shipboard data processing and sample analyses.
The ship, built by Atlantic Marine, Inc., has an innovative hull known as a Small-Waterplane-Area Twin Hull (SWATH). Compared to a monohull, a SWATH exposes only a minimum of the ship to the lifting forces of the waves. The SWATH is based on the principal of semi-submersible offshore rigs that are designed to provide a working platform with diminished motions in open seas, significantly reducing the ship’s pitch and roll, making for superior seakeeping and increased operational capabilities.
Kilo Moana is 185 feet in length, has a breath of 88 feet, and a displacement of 2,542 light tons. The ship will be delivered to the Navy in 2002 and through a unique partnering agreement, the ship was constructed for the Office of Naval Research and will be operated by the University of Hawaii.
Source: Navsea News Wire