The US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has awarded VT Halter Marine a $2.2 million contract for industry studies for the auxiliary general ocean surveillance ship (T-AGOS(X)) program.
The T-AGOS(X) class will replace the existing capability of four T-AGOS 19 and one T-AGOS 23 small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) ships as they reach the end of their service lives beginning in 2026.
A total of seven new ships are to be acquired for the US Military Sealift Command, with potential for additional ships.
T-AGOS is the platform for the surveillance towed array sensor system (SURTASS) and will have a 30-year service life threshold requirement.
The two classes of surveillance ships currently in service use SURTASS equipment to gather undersea acoustic data. They can also carry electronic equipment to process and transmit that data via satellite to shore stations for evaluation.
The government expects to award a detail design and construction (DD&C) contract for the lead T-AGOS(X) ship in fiscal year 2022, with ship delivery set for FY25. The post delivery tests and trials are to be completed a year later.