by Richard Tomkins
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (UPI) Jun 10, 2016
A new oceanographic survey vessel for the U.S. Navy has completed its maiden voyage, sailing from Pascagoula, Miss., to Port Everglades, Fla.
A civilian survey detachment from the Naval Oceanographic Office, or NAVOCEANO, conducted testing of routine over-the-side operations of the USNA Maury during the voyage, as well as testing equipment unique to the ship, including underwater cameras which will be used for autonomous underwater vehicle launch and recovery operations.
"USNS Maury is more than a simple addition to the existing fleet of T-AGS vessels; in the coming years, her unique capabilities will provide our surveyors the opportunity to support the warfighter using the latest and greatest technology, and ultimately lay the foundation for the next class of survey vessels," said NAVOCEANO Executive Officer Capt. Nick Vincent.
The Navy said the USNS Maury is the last of the Pathfinder-class oceanographic survey ships. It is 353-feet-long, 24 feet longer than the previous T-AGS design to accommodate a moon pool used for launch and recovery of AUVs and other oceanographic systems.
The vessel is operated by Military Sealift Command and is technically controlled by NAVOCEANO for Commander, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command based at Stennis Space Center in southern Mississippi.
It was built by VT Halter Marine.
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