Oceanographic Research Facilities Program
The Oceanographic Research Facilities program manages six Navy-owned oceanographic research vessels; the historic deep-submersible vehicle Alvin, and the Floating Instrument Platform, or FLIP. These research assets are charter-leased to U.S. academic research institutions to operate and maintain in support of Navy and U.S. ocean research objectives.
As part of the management of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) fleet, the program actively supports fleet modernization to maintain the level of excellence required to support cutting-edge oceanographic research. Other oceanographic platforms, such as unmanned underwater vehicles and unmanned air vehicles, are used to collect field data through the Naval Research Facilities program.
The program also provides oceanographic field research support for ONR-sponsored 6.1 and 6.2 research in collaboration with other federal agencies and the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS).
New Oceanographic Research Vessels for ONR
Under contract to the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Dakota Creek Industries shipyard in Anacortes, Wash., built and delivered two new oceanographic research vessels to ONR. Dakota Creek partnered with Guido Perla and Associates naval architects, Seattle, Wash., for the design of these vessels, AGOR 27 R/V Neil Armstrong and AGOR 28 R/V Sally Ride, which were delivered to the Navy in 2015 and 2016 respectively. AGOR 27 has been assigned to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and AGOR 28 is assigned to Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Each vessel measures 238 feet in length, displace 3000 tons, and will accommodate a science party of 24. The vessels will operate globally in support of Navy and national oceanographic research objectives. Mission equipment includes shallow and deep water multi-beam sonar, multiple frequency Doppler current profilers, sub-bottom profilers and multiple over the side hydrographic and trawling winches.
Mid-Life Refit of the AGOR 23 Class Oceanographic Research Vessels
ONR has embarked on the major overhaul and service life extension of three vessels of the AGOR 23 Class. R/V Thomas G Thompson, R/V Roger Revelle, and R/V Atlantis will separately undergo a multi-million dollar refit and modernization between 2016 and 2021. The expected outcome of the overhaul will be a more efficient and environmentally compliant propulsion system, will overcome system and component obsolescence, update mission equipment and potentially extend the service life of the vessel up to 15 additional years.
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