Boatbuilder Brix Marine (formerly Armstrong Marine USA), Port Angeles, Wash., has been awarded a contract from Northrop Grumman to build a catamaran suvey-research vessel, slated for a fall of 2021 completion.

The 44'x16' vessel is Brix’s third IPS-drive catamaran. The first two were 4216-CTC models, both delivered in 2019, to UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Bob and Betty Beyster) and Orca Maritime Inc. (Benthic Cat), respectively.

Northrop Grumman said it will utilize the vessel for testing commercial navigation systems, undersea and aviation programs, as well as assisting the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's replenishment of local oyster populations and other community outreach and educational projects.

The 4416-CTC is powered by twin Volvo D11 510hp engines with Volvo IPS 650 propulsors and a dynamic positioning system (DPS) which automatically maintains heading and position and provides the precise control required for scientific operations. The vessel features a full-width cabin with flybridge, large aft working deck, open transom, two swim platforms, and a removable launch platform. Deck equipment includes a hydraulic A-frame (4200lb) with Pullmaster PL5 hydraulic winch, a Morgan Marine 200.3 crane, and 30 tie-down points for securing equipment.

Designed to accommodate overnights, the heated cabin includes a V berth in the forward cuddy, and a port side workstation with ample counter space and seating for two. A head compartment with hot water shower is housed behind the workstation on the port side. The fold out table with flip down bench seats on the starboard side maximizes the cabin’s usable space.