NOAA 2006-R800
Contact: Jeanne Kouhestani
NOAA News Releases 2006
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VT Halter Marine, Inc., a subsidiary of Vision Technologies Systems, Inc., announced that it will build another fisheries survey vessel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA exercised an option for about $30 million to build the fourth planned vessel under an existing contract. Construction will begin in 2006 with delivery planned during the second half of 2008.

VT Halter Marine designed the 208-ft. FSVs in accordance with strict guidelines for acoustic quieting set by the International Council for Exploration of the Seas. The first ship in the class—Oscar Dyson—was delivered to NOAA on Jan. 5, 2005, and is one of the most technologically advanced fisheries ships in the world. It operates out of Kodiak, Alaska. The second ship—Henry B. Bigelow—was launched on July 8, 2005, and is expected to be delivered to NOAA in mid-2006. It will be home ported in New England. Construction began on the third ship in the class, FSV 3, in July 2005; this ship, yet to be named, is expected to be delivered in late 2007. It will initially be home ported in Pascagoula, Miss. These NOAA sister ships, with cutting-edge low acoustic signatures, will have the ability to perform hydro-acoustic surveys of fish. They will also be able to conduct bottom and mid-water trawls while running physical and biological-oceanographic sampling during a single deployment--a combined capability unavailable in the private sector.

When completed, the fourth ship will be home ported on the West Coast; a specific location has not yet been determined.

“This fourth FSV will fulfill our vision to provide state-of-the-art fishery research capabilities along all the U.S. coasts,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “It will also be one of NOAA’s critical links in GEOSS, the emerging Global Earth Observing System of Systems, through which we are working with our federal and international partners to develop an earth observation network for complete coverage of the planet.”

“The FSV program showcases VT Halter Marine’s ability to provide turnkey shipbuilding services from design to delivery. NOAA’s decision to exercise all of its options to construct the four planned vessels also speaks positively for the standard of VT Halter Marine’s products and services. We look forward to continuing our win-win relationship with NOAA as they modernize their fisheries fleet,” said Boyd E. King, CEO of VT Halter Marine. VT Halter Marine developed a highly technical FSV design, tailored it to meet NOAA’s mission-specific requirements, and recently launched the second of four planned new generation ships.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

VT Halter Marine is the marine operations of Vision Technologies Systems. Based in Pascagoula, Miss., it 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 and survey vessels.

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