Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc (ESG) announced a partnership with Royal IHC to design and construct an automated medium-class hopper dredge for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) today. The 320’x72’x28’ vessel, contracted for the Department of Defense, is slated for delivery in 2027. The dredge will be constructed at ESG's Allanton and Port St. Joe facilities.  

"Our partnership with Royal IHC exemplifies our longstanding commitment to working with the best in the industry to deliver superior vessels to our customers," said Joey D’Isernia, CEO of Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. in a press release. "Our extensive experience in building highly mission capable TSHDs in the U.S. positions us well to construct this exceptional vessel for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers." 

The new hopper dredge will enter the USACE’s Ready Reserve Fleet and will play a critical role in the Corps’ navigation mission and provide for safe, reliable, effective, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems for vital national security, commerce, and recreation needs, the company said. The vessel will replace the 57-year-old Dredge McFARLAND based in the Corps’ Philadelphia District. The Dredge McFARLAND is one of four oceangoing hopper dredges owned and operated by USACE.

The dredge will draw 11’3” when the hopper is empty, and 25’6” when full. Maximum hopper capacity is 6000 cubic yards, and with the suction tube at 45 degrees, the maximum dredge depth is 65’.