The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is acquiring two new oceanographic vessels to rebuild its fleet.
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.
The first ship, Oceanographer, will be based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the home of the second ship, Discoverer, will be decided at a later date.
Neil Jacobs PhD, acting administrator of NOAA, said, “The science missions aboard these vessels promise to push the boundaries of what is known about our still largely undiscovered ocean.”
The designs of the vessels are underway, and NOAA expects to award contracts for the construction of the ships by the end of the year.
Rear Admiral Michael Silah, director of the NOAA Commissioned Office Corps and Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), said, “The acquisition represents a major step forward in the recapitalization of NOAA’s ship fleet and will help ensure that the agency has the seagoing capability to collect the best information possible about the marine environment.”