Warship Technology: October 2020
A team comprising Halter Marine, part of ST Engineering North America, and Gibbs & Cox, and another comprising BMT as prime contractor and Philly Shipyard, have been awarded contracts for industrial studies for the US Navy’s auxiliary general ocean surveillance ship (T-AGOS(X)) programme. Contracts for T-AGOS(X) were also awarded to Thoma-Sea Marine and Bollinger.
The US Navy is expected to award the design detail and construction contract for T-AGOS(X) in 2022 with delivery of the first vessel anticipated in 2025. It is expected the design and construction contract will include one vessel and options for six others. According to the Department of the Navy, a seven-ship class is currently planned, “with the potential for additional ships being required.”
The T-AGOS(X) vessels will replace four T-AGOS 19 and one T-AGOS 23 SWATH ships, which are reaching the end of their service lives. The contracts are for 12-month studies to perform trade-off studies and analyses of the US Navy design.
The T-AGOS vessels tow a surveillance towed array sensor systems. Their SWATH hullform makes them very stable vessels and reduces rolling in heavy seas. The new T-AGOS-X will be designed for a 30-year service life.
“Gibbs & Cox has nine decades of designing naval ships, and we are excited about this partnership,” said Kevin Amis, executive vice president of operations. “We have assembled partners that have excellent performance records for capability and technology requirements of the T-AGOS programme.”
BMT said the industry studies will address technical solutions and design trade-offs, provide recommendations to improve producibility and affordability, and include technical reviews of the US Navy’s evolving ship design.
“The contracts are a key step in the recapitalisation of the US Navy’s ocean surveillance capabilities,” said BMT. “T-AGOS capabilities emphasise gathering and processing of undersea acoustic data, which is crucial to tracking submarines. The unique SWATH hullform offers high stability at slow speeds and in adverse weather conditions.”