VT Halter Marine Inc. held a christening ceremony Wednesday for the 353’x58′ USNS MAURY (T-AGS 66) oceanographic survey vessel at its Halter Moss Point facility in Pascagoula, Miss. VT Halter is the leading designer and builder of specialized oceanographic ships for the U.S. Navy and has experience in building the previous six T-AGS 60-class vessels.
In December 2009, VT Halter was awarded a contract of approximately $87 million to build an enhanced version of the T-AGS 60-class oceanographic survey ship for the Navy. Construction of T-AGS 66 began in September 2010 and the keel laying ceremony was held in February 2011. Delivery is expected in January 2014. The vessel is 24′ longer than the previous design which will accommodate a moon pool for deployment and retrieval of autonomous underwater vehicles. The new vessel is designed to perform acoustic, biological, physical, and geophysical surveys and will provide the U.S. military with essential information on the ocean environment.
T-AGS 66 is named in honor of Cmdr. Matthew Fontaine Maury, nicknamed “Pathfinder of the Seas,” and also known as the “Father of Modern Oceanography.”
“We take great pride in our build history with the T-AGS 60 Class oceanographic vessels for the U.S. Navy. This vessel, the USNS Maury, is an enhanced version of the prior T-AGS. We are very pleased to host the christening ceremony for this impressive ship,” said Bill Skinner, CEO of VT Halter.