Marinette Marine Corporation (MMC), Fincantieri’s American subsidiary, has been awarded two orders in the USA worth over 130 million dollars: a 73 million contract from the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) for a Fisheries Survey Vessel (FSV) and a 63 million contract for 30 boats for the US Coast Guard.
The research vessel is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act within the framework of a program to replace outdated vessels with cutting edge ships.
Construction of the vessel will be at Marinette shipyard in Wisconsin and delivery is scheduled for 2013 to the ship’s homebase in San Diego. The ship will serve the Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC), NOAA’s facility in south west America, replacing the “David Starr Jordan” which has logged over 1.5 million miles since 1966. 63.5 metres long and 15.2 metres wide, the vessel will be equipped with a full suite of modern instrumentation for sampling and advanced navigation systems with multifrequency acoustic sensors and extensive laboratories.
Thanks to high technological standards, the new research vessel will be able to carry out surveys on marine fauna, including mammals, turtles and fish and conduct studies into the effects of climate change on the ecosystems off the west coast of North America and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
The boats for the US Coast Guard will be built at ACE Marine (Aluminum Center of Excellence) at Green Bay, Wisconsin, and are part of a multi-year Coast Guard program at a total contract value of 600 million dollars, called “Response Boats-Medium (RB-Ms)”, for which MMC is prime contractor and program manager.
Delivery of the first boats is scheduled in the third quarter of 2011. This order brings the number of boats ordered to MMC to 97 out of a total of 250. Kvichak Marine Industries, located in Seattle, will collaborate in the construction of the vessels announced today with its yard in Kent, Washington.
13.5 metres long and just over 4 metres wide, the boats have a draft of almost one metre. They can reach a maximum speed of 42 knots and can operate in a range of 250 nautical miles from the coast, with a pull capacity of 100 tons.
The boats will replace outdated craft within a process of fleet renewal of the Coast Guard. The project has taken into due account indications from operations commanders who have been able to test the boats which incorporate many improvements over previous models, especially in terms of performance, operational versatility, efficiency and crew safety during missions.
Giuseppe Bono, Chief Executive Officer of Fincantieri commented: “We are proud to continue to serve the US market. These orders are both further recognition of our capabilities and confirm we chose the right strategy, business diversification as a way of stimulating demand in a market which continues to stagnate.”
Marinette shipyard is also engaged in the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program for the US Navy, a leading-edge technology ship for coastal patrols, and in an oceanographic research vessel for Fairbanks University in addition to participating in a team with Boeing with a view to the future tender for the ten-year “Sea Base-to-Shore Connector” (SSC) program, which provides for the construction of 80 hovercraft for the US Navy.