Contract awarded to Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC to build two new oceanographic ships for NOAA
NOAA’s effort to recapitalize its aging fleet of research ships took a major step forward today with the U.S. Navy’s award of a $178,082,877 contract to Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors LLC, Houma, Louisiana, for the detailed design and construction of two new oceanographic ships for the agency. NOAA is acquiring the vessels through an agreement with the Naval Sea Systems Command, a leader in building, providing and procuring large research ships for the nation's research fleet. The first ship, to be named Oceanographer, will be homeported in Honolulu. The second ship, to be named Discoverer, will be assigned a homeport at a future date. Both vessels will continue the legacies of their namesakes. The first Oceanographer served in the NOAA fleet from 1966 to 1996 and her sister ship, Discoverer, served from 1967 to 1996. The new ships will support a wide variety of missions, ranging from general oceanographic research and exploration to marine life, climate and ocean ecosystem studies. These missions include shallow coastal, continental shelf, and worldwide ocean survey and data collection.