Builder of marine research ship chosen

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SAN DIEGO, March 1 (UPI) — The U.S. Office of Naval Research has chosen Dakota Creek Industries Inc. to build a new research vessel for ocean science exploration, officials said.

Dakota Creek Industries, of Anacortes, Wash., will build AGOR 28, a new “Ocean Class” research vessel that will advance environmental and scientific research in the world’s seas, they said.

The new research vessel will be owned by ONR for the Department of the Navy and operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

AGOR 28, set for launch in 2015, is designed as a seagoing laboratory to support ocean science for the next 30 years, a UCSD release said Wednesday.

The vessel will utilize research instrumentation to conduct scientific exploration, including mapping systems, sensors and profilers that will investigate features from the seafloor to the atmosphere, Scripps officials said.

“Scripps Oceanography awaits with excitement the launch of AGOR 28 and especially its ability to take Scripps further into its second century of ocean exploration,” Scripps Director Tony Hayment said.

AGOR 28 will be the fifth ship in the Scripps fleet, the largest among U.S. research institutions.

“Scripps was successful in a fierce competition among U.S. oceanographic institutions to operate AGOR 28, and we’re excited about the ship’s role in the future of the Scripps fleet,” said Bruce Appelgate, Scripps associate director for Ship Operations and Marine Technical Support.

The ship will be based at the Scripps Nimitz Marine Facility in San Diego’s Point Loma community.

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