Philly Shipyard to join study for new US Navy cable ship

Philly Shipyard has been awarded a contract to participate in an industry study for the development and design of the US Navy cable ship T-ARC(X) Program.

Philly Shipyard said on Tuesday that the new cable ship would be a replacement for the Navy’s only undersea cable installation and repair ship – the USNS ZEUS (T-ARC 7).

The vessel’s primary mission will be to transport, install, retrieve, and repair undersea cables and equipment, with many additional capabilities including ocean surveys and deployment of unmanned underwater vehicles.

President and CEO of Philly Shipyard Steinar Nerbovik said: “We look forward to adding this industry study to our portfolio of government projects at Philly Shipyard. Our design team will develop a modern design benefitting the US Navy in its many subsea operations”.

Per US Navy specifications, Philly Shipyard will perform capability and cost trade studies in key areas, investigate options to maximize affordability and producibility, and develop concept designs.

The industry studies – the precursor for the future detail design and construction (DD&C) contract – will take approximately 12 months. A request for quotation for the DD&C contract is anticipated upon completion of the industry studies.

The company added that it partnered with Vard Marine as the ship design team on this program. The Vard Group’s vast experience in cable laying vessel design and construction will be drawn upon to support these industry studies that will provide a modern solution for the US Navy.

Wade Carson, CEO of Vard Marine, stated: “This is another exciting opportunity for Vard Marine to collaborate on industry studies with Philly Shipyard. The recent CHAMP program has built an effective working relationship between our two companies and we see great potential in providing the U.S. Navy with value and quality design services”.

Per the contract stipulations, Philly Shipyard has selected Vard Electro, MAATS, and Noise Control Engineering as consultants on the project.

It is worth noting that the company is now participating in industry studies for four U.S. government shipbuilding programs, including the T-ARC(X) program.

The other three industry studies support the U.S. Navy’s Common Hull Auxiliary Multi-Mission Platform (CHAMP) program, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC) program, and the U.S. Navy’s T-AGOS(X) program.

In recent company news, Philly Shipyard announced the authorization by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration and subsequent order from TOTE Services for the construction of two additional national security multi-mission vessels (NSMVs).

Photo: Illustration; Courtesy of Philly Shipyard