Halter Marine has begun construction of the US Navy oceanographic survey ship T-AGS 67.
The keel-laying ceremony was held at the company’s facility in Pascagoula, Mississippi, led by US Navy Program Executive Officer Ships Rear Admiral Tom Anderson.
The T-AGS 67 is the eighth Pathfinder-class multi-mission ship to serve the navy’s physical, geophysical, biological, and acoustic surveys.
The ship is expected to provide “much of the US military’s information on the ocean environment.”
The vessel will have a length of 350 feet (107 meters) and a 58-foot (18-meter) beam. It will feature a “moon pool” for unmanned vehicle deployment and retrieval.
“This is an awesome Navy day as we gather to celebrate the start of construction of the eighth ship in the Pathfinder class,” Anderson said.
“We look forward to delivering another ship that provides significant capability in undersea warfare and charting the world’s coastlines.”
Towing, Salvage, and Rescue Ship
This month, Bollinger Houma Shipyards also laid the keel for the US Navy’s Navajo-class vessel T-ATS 8, the future USNS Saginaw Ojibwe Anishinabek.
The towing, salvage, and rescue ship is being developed to combine the capabilities of the Fleet Ocean Tug (T-ATF 166) and Rescue and Salvage Ships (T-ARS 50).
The T-ATS 8 was named after the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe to honor the first community present in the modern state of Michigan. The keel-laying ceremony was led by tribal chief Theresa Peters Jackson.
“We gather to celebrate this multi-mission platform and the range of capabilities it will bring to the fleet, including towing, salvage, rescue, oil spill response and humanitarian assistance,” Anderson said during the ceremony.
“It is an honor to be joined by members of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe as the keel is authenticated for their namesake ship and we are excited to honor their heritage and commitment to service of country.”
Bollinger is currently constructing the USNS Navajo (T-ATS 6) and USNS Cherokee Nation (T-ATS 7), and is under contract for USNS Lenni Lenape (T-ATS 9) and USNS Muscogee Creek Nation (T-ATS 10).