The Navy accepted the delivery of missile range instrumentation ship USNS Howard O. Lorenzen (T-AGM 25) on Jan. 10th. Constructed by VT Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss., T-AGM 25 will be the replacement for the existing USNS Observation Island, which was launched in 1953. The ship will provide worldwide, high-quality, dual-band radar data in support of ballistic missile treaty verification.
“This ship brings critical new technology to the fleet in an innovative design,” said Frank McCarthey, the Auxiliary Ships, Small Boats, and Craft program manager for the Navy’s Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “She is a well-built ship; we expect the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen to perform well.”
Accepting delivery of this ship represents the official transfer of T-AGM 25 from the shipbuilder to the Navy and is a major milestone in the ship’s transition to operational status. The ship was christened in June 2010 by the ship’s sponsor, Susan Lorenzen Black, daughter of ship’s namesake, the late Dr. Howard O. Lorenzen, a distinguished Naval Research Laboratory scientist.
Ship delivery follows completion of acceptance trials in November 2011. The ship is currently at Kiewit Offshore Services in Corpus Christi, Texas, for planned radar installation, integration, and testing. The government-provided communications suite is complete.
The 12,575-ton, 534-foot ship is crewed and operated by Military Sealift Command. Currently crewed by civil service mariners, Lorenzen is expected to transition to a crew of commercial mariners working for private companies under contract to MSC when the ship achieves initial operational capability in 2013.
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Delivering high-quality war fighting assets – while balancing affordability and capability – are key to supporting the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, January 13, 2011; Image: navsea