ST Engineering announced today that its US shipyard, VT Halter Marine, has been awarded a contract worth US$87m (about S$121m) to build an enhanced version of a T-AGS 60 Class oceanographic survey ship for the U.S. Navy. Construction of the new ship, T-AGS 66, will begin at Halter Moss Point in 1H2010 with delivery scheduled in 2013. VT Halter Marine is the US operation of ST Engineering's marine arm, ST Marine.
This contract is not expected to have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets per share and earnings per share of ST Engineering for the current financial year.
The all-steel vessel is about 107.6 metres long, with a beam of 17.68 metres, a 5.48-metre draft and permanent accommodation for 67 persons. The T-AGS 60 Class design eliminated conventional reduction gears and long propeller shafts to free up space for oceanographic uses. Its dynamic positioning controls thrust direction provides unparalleled ship control and maneuverability to permit precise position keeping and track line following. In addition to various enhancements of its equipment and electronics systems, the T-AGS 66 will be fitted with an 18' x 18' moonpool for through hull launch and retrieval of scientific research equipment.
Typical missions of the T-AGS 60 Class ships may include: oceanographic sampling and data collection of surface, midwater and ocean floor parameters; the launching, recovering, and towing of scientific packages both tethered and autonomous including the handling, monitoring, and servicing of remotely operated vehicles; shipboard oceanographic data processing and sample analysis; and precise navigation, track line maneuvering, and station keeping to support deep ocean and coastal surveys.
VT Halter Marine is the leading designer and builder of specialised oceanographic ships for the U.S. Navy and has experience in building the previous six ships of the T-AGS 60 Class; T-AGOS 13 through T-AGOS 18 ocean surveillance ships; a T-AGOS 23 Class SWATH ocean surveillance ship: T-AGS 51 and T-AGS 52 hydrographic survey ships; oceanographic survey ships AGOR 23, 24 and 25; and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) AGOR Ronald H. Brown as well as four fisheries survey vessels (FSVs) for NOAA.
T-AGS 60 Class ships are designed and constructed to provide multi-purpose oceanographic capabilities for the Oceanographer of the Navy. Physical, chemical and biological oceanography; multi-discipline environmental investigations; ocean engineering and marine acoustics; marine geology and geophysics; and bathymetric, gravimetric, and magnetometric surveying are performed from T-AGS 60 Class ships using the latest in oceanographic surveying equipment and other instrument packages with the ability to process and analyse the data onboard using the latest computer technology.
Chang Cheow Teck, President of ST Marine, said: "VT Halter Marine is pleased to be given the opportunity to continue our long standing partnership with the U.S. Navy and this contract is a testament to our track record of designing and constructing quality T-AGS oceanographic vessels for the U.S. Navy."