Monday, August 31, 2015

Research Vessel Completes Acceptance Trials

By Mark Edward Nero

The first-of-class auxiliary general oceanographic research (AGOR) vessel R/V Neil Armstrong, constructed at the Anacortes, Washington shipyard Dakota Creek Industries, has successfully completed acceptance trials, the US Navy reported Aug. 27.

The R/V Neil Armstrong is a modern mono-hull research vessel capable of integrated, interdisciplinary, general-purpose oceanographic research in coastal and deep ocean areas.

The Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) found the ship to be “well-built and inspection-ready” after the trials evaluated the ship’s major systems and equipment, including demonstrations of the ship’s main propulsion system, dynamic positioning system, navigation, cranes and winches and communication systems.

Acceptance trials represent the cumulative efforts following a series of in-port and underway inspections conducted jointly by builder Dakota Creek Industries and government agencies throughout the construction, test and trials process. The trials are the last significant shipbuilding milestone before delivery of the ship to the Navy, which is expected to occur this fall.

Neil Armstrong Class AGOR vessels are 238 feet long and incorporate the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating.

These ships are expected to provide scientists with the tools and capabilities to support ongoing research including in the western Pacific and other regions across a variety of missions.

The R/V Neil Armstrong will be operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under a charter party agreement with the Office of Naval Research. It will have a crew of 20, with accommodations for 24 scientists.