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The US Navy’s oceanographic research vessel, R / V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27), has successfully completed acceptance trials, marking the final major milestone prior to the delivery.

During the trials, the navy’s board of inspection and survey (INSURV) examined the vessels’ major systems and equipment, including its main propulsion system, dynamic positioning system, navigation, cranes and winches, as well as the communication systems.

Support Ships, Boats, and Craft office programme manager Mike Kosar said: "Neil Armstrong performed very well during these trials, especially for a first of class vessel.

"The results of these tests and the outstanding fit, finish and quality of the vessel, stand as a testament to the preparation and effort of our entire shipbuilding team. It reflects the exceptionalism of AGOR 27’s namesake, Neil Armstrong."

The acceptance trials were a result of a series of in-port and underway inspections jointly performed by the AGOR Program Office, SUPSHIP, and builder Dakota Creek Industries.

"Neil Armstrong performed very well during these trials, especially for a first of class vessel."

Delivery of the vessel is expected to take place later this year.

The Neil Armstrong-class of research vessels feature a modern suite of oceanographic equipment, state-of-the-art acoustic equipment capable of mapping the deepest parts of the oceans, as well as advanced over-the-side handling gear to deploy and retrieve scientific instruments.

Additional features of the vessels include emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with land-based sites worldwide.

Manned by a commercial crew, R / V Neil Armstrong will be operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution under a contract with the US Government and will replace the ageing R / V Knorr (AGOR 15).

Image: The US Navy christened R / V Neil Armstrong in April last year. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by John F Williams / Released.