NOAA’s effort to recapitalize its ageing fleet of analysis ships took a serious step ahead right this moment with the U.S. Navy’s award of a $178,082,877 contract to Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC, Houma, Louisiana, for the detailed design and development of two new oceanographic ships for the company. NOAA is buying the vessels by an settlement with the Naval Sea Systems Command, a pacesetter in constructing, offering and procuring giant analysis ships for the nation’s analysis fleet.
The first ship, to be named Oceanographer, can be homeported in Honolulu. The second ship, to be named Discoverer, can be assigned a homeport at a future date. Both vessels will proceed the legacies of their namesakes. The first Oceanographer served within the NOAA fleet from 1966 to 1996 and her sister ship, Discoverer, served from 1967 to 1996.
The new ships will assist all kinds of missions, starting from normal oceanographic analysis and exploration to marine life, local weather and ocean ecosystem research. These missions embody shallow coastal, continental shelf, and worldwide ocean survey and knowledge assortment.
Designed as single-hull ships, Oceanographer and Discoverer can be constructed to business requirements. They will incorporate the most recent applied sciences, together with high-efficiency, environmentally pleasant EPA Tier IV diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gases, new info expertise instruments for monitoring shipboard methods, and underwater scientific analysis and survey gear.
“These state-of-the-art ships will play a significant function in accumulating high-quality knowledge and main scientific discoveries,” mentioned Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., performing NOAA administrator. “The science missions aboard these vessels promise to push the boundaries of what’s recognized about our nonetheless largely undiscovered ocean.”
The ships can be outfitted to launch work boats, carry out upkeep on buoys and moorings, deploy scientific devices to gather climate and water column knowledge, and conduct seafloor mapping surveys. Each vessel will function with a crew of 20 and can accommodate as much as 28 scientists.
“This contract award represents a serious step ahead within the course of to recapitalize NOAA’s ship fleet,” mentioned NOAA Rear Adm. Michael J. Silah, director of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). “We thank the Navy, our valued companion, for its help with this acquisition.”
The NOAA ship fleet is operated, managed and maintained by OMAO, which consists of civilians and officers with the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, one of many nation’s eight uniformed providers.
(Source: NOAA – NOAA Oceanographer rolling in southern Australia in 1967)

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