Halter Marine Secures Studies Contract for New Surveillance Ship

Halter Marine Inc., a company of ST Engineering North America, has been awarded the contract for industrial studies for the auxiliary general ocean surveillance ship (T-AGOS(X)) program.

The U.S. Navy awarded the $981,000 contract for the T-AGOS class series of vessels, which ultimately will replace the existing fleet of four T-AGOS 19 and one T-AGOS 23 small waterplane area twin-hull (SWATH) ships, which are reaching the end of their service lives. The contract is for a 12-month study to perform trade-off studies and analyses of the Navy design.

“We have designed, constructed, and delivered more oceanographic research and surveillance vessels than any other single U.S. shipyard,” said Bob Merchent, President and CEO of Halter Marine. “In fact, we finished the T-AGOS 23, named the USNS Impeccable, in 1995. For generations, Halter Marine’s shipbuilders have proudly supported our armed forces, and we are honored to continue that tradition today.”

Halter Marine has teamed with Gibbs & Cox as the ship designer. T-AGOS has a SWATH style design and is built to tow surveillance towed array sensor system. The catamaran design prevents it from rolling in heavy seas. T-AGOS will be designed for 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 program.”

The U.S. Navy is expected to award the design detail and construction contract for T-AGOS in 2022 with an anticipated delivery of the first vessel in 2025. It is expected the design and construction contract will include one vessel and options for six others.


Written by V.T. Halter

VT Halter Marine, the marine operations of ST Engineering North America, is based in Pascagoula, Miss., and is a leader in the design and construction of medium-sized ships in the United States. VT Halter Marine designs, builds and repairs a wide variety of ocean-going vessels such as patrol vessels, oil recovery vessels, oil cargo vessels, ferries, logistic support vessels, auxiliaries, and research and survey vessels. Please visit


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