USNS Maury

Shipbuilder VT Halter has delivered the Pathfinder class oceanographic survey ship, USNS Maury (T-AGS 66), to the US Navy.

The vessel will be assigned to perform acoustic, biological, physical and geophysical surveys.

It will procure the necessary information on the maritime environment.

US Navy Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships Support Ships, Boats, and Craft programme manager said: "I look forward to learning of the new and innovative contributions to science and ocean exploration that USNS Maury and her crew will undoubtedly make over the next 30 years."

Christened after commander Matthew Fontaine Maury, the vessel measures 353ft in length and has a beam measuring 58ft.

USNS Maury is fitted with a 300ft² moon pool for deployment and retrieval of autonomous underwater vehicles and has been built 24ft longer than the preceding T-AGS design to accommodate this.

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"USNS Maury is fitted with a 300ft² moon pool for deployment and retrieval of autonomous underwater vehicles."

The vessel will be placed under the authority of Military Sealift Command (MSC), which comprise non-combatant, civilian crewed ships that replenish US Navy ships, scan ocean bottoms, conduct undersea surveillance, tactically preposition combat cargo at sea and ferry military equipment and supplies used by deployed US forces around the world.

USNS Maury concluded its acceptance trials in November 2015, which included the assessment of the vessel’s major propulsion, auxiliary, damage control and deck systems.

Maury is said to be the first oceanographic survey ship built since USNS Mary Sears (T-AGS 65), which was launched in 2000.

Halter Marine built other series of T-AGS 60 class ships, which include USNS Pathfinder (T-AGS 60), USNS Henson (T-AGS 63), USNS Bruce Heezen (T-AGS 64) USNS Sumner (T-AGS 61), USNS Bowditch (T-AGS 62) and USNS Mary Sears, which are all currently operational.

Image: USNS Maury. Photo: courtesy of David Stoltz.