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World Navies Today:

US Navy Research &

Survey Vessels
Revised 10 March 2003
Version 2.17
Compiled and Maintained by: Andrew Toppan
World Navies Today Main Page: http://www.hazegray.org/worldnav/
This list includes research ships engaged in general oceanographic research and
survey work. Ships under 500 tons and non-self propelled ships are not included. Other
military research/trials vessels, supporting specific USN R&D activities, are listed

Ships not yet commissioned, or in long-term overhaul/conversion, are listed in italics.

Navigation and surface-search radars are not listed. All classifications are purely
unofficial and are based on an attempt to use standard classifications throughout all
navies; they may or may not correspond to "official" designations. Where two dates are
given (i.e. 1965/82), the first is the date of initial completion, and the second is the date
of acquisition, conversion, or transfer. Designations given in (parentheses) are assigned
but not displayed on the ship's hull.

MSC-manned ships carry prefix USNS, all others carry prefix R/V.

Note: AGORs are assigned to academic institutions for operation; they are not under
USN control, although USN may fund specific research activities to be carried out aboard
these ships.

Note: The ocean survey ship Waters has been converted to serve in navigation research
and missile tracking roles, and is listed with Special Mission Auxiliaries.
Pathfinder class oceanographic
research/survey ships (6 ships)

Displacement: 4,762 tons full load

Dimensions: 328 x 58 x 19 feet/100 x 17.6 x 5.8 meters
Propulsion: diesel-electric, 4 diesels, 2 shafts, 8,000 shp, 16 knots
Crew: 25 civilian + 27 mission crew + 3 transients

Concept/Program: Large multirole research/survey ships, intended for MSC operation

and capable of very long-range operations.

Builders: Halter Marine, Moss Point, MS.

Number Name Year FLT Homeport Group Notes

(T-AGS 60) Pathfinder 1994 ATL (none) MSC Atlantic
(T-AGS 61) Sumner 1995 PAC (none) MSC Far East
(T-AGS 62) Bowditch 1996 PAC (none) MSC Far East
(T-AGS 63) Henson 1999 ATL (none) MSC
(T-AGS 64) Bruce C. Heezen 2000 ATL (none) MSC
(T-AGS 65) Mary Sears 2001 (none) MSC

Thomas G. Thompson class

oceanographic research/survey ships (3

Displacement: 3,250 tons full load

Dimensions: 274 x 52 x 17 feet/83.5 x 15.8 x 5.2 meters
Propulsion: 6 diesels, diesel-electric, 6,000 shp, 2 shafts, 15 knots
Crew: 20 civilian + 35-40 mission crew

Concept/Program: Multirole research/survey ships built for academic/research

organizations. This is a class of four ships; the first two (AGOR 23, 24) are configured
for general research/survey duties. Atlantis (AGOR 25) was built as a submersible
support ship. The fourth ship (often incorrectly identified as AGOR 26) was built for and
transferred to NOAA.

Builders: Trinity/Halter Marine, Moss Point, MS.

Number Name Year FLT Homeport Group Notes
(AGOR Thomas G. 1991 PAC Seattle UofWashington
23) Thompson
(AGOR Roger Revelle 1996 PAC LaJolla, CA Scripps
(AGOR Atlantis 1997 ATL Woods Hole, Woods Hole
25) MA Oceanographic / NDSF

Melville class oceanographic

research/survey ships (2 ships)

Displacement: 2,670 tons full load

Dimensions: 279 x 46 x 15 feet/85 x 14 x 4.6 meters
Propulsion: 4 diesels, diesel-electric, 3,000 shp, 3 shafts, 14 knots
Crew: 24 civilian + 34 mission crew

Concept/Program: Large, highly capable multimission ships built for operation by

academic institutions. Both underwent major modernizations 1988-1991, including all
new propulsion, lengthened hull, complete refit of oceanographic gear.

Builders: Defoe SB, Bay City, MI.

Number Name Year FLT Homeport Group Notes

(AGOR Melville 1969 PAC LaJolla, CA Scripps
(AGOR Knorr 1970 ATL Woods Hole, Woods Hole Oceanographic
15) MA (WHOI)

Kilo Moana oceanographic

research/survey ship

Displacement: 2,542 tons full load

Dimensions: 177.5 x 78.6 feet/55.47 x 24.58 meters
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, 4 diesels, 2 shafts, 4,024 hp, 12 knots
Crew: 17 + 31 mission crew

Concept/Program: A SWATH research ship for the University of Hawaii, funded by

Congress with no Navy request. Replaced ex-Navy Moana Wave.
Builders: Lockheed Martin; construction subcontracted to Atlantic Marine, Jacksonville,

Number Name Year FLT Homeport Group Notes

(AGOR 26) Kilo Moana 2002 PAC Honolulu UofHawaii

John McDonnell class coastal survey

ships (2 ships)

Displacement: 2,054 tons full load

Dimensions: 208 x 45 x 14 feet/63.4 x 13.7 x 4.3 meters
Propulsion: 1 diesel, 1 shaft, 12 knots
Crew: 23 civilan + 10 mission crew

Concept/Program: A pair of ships intended coastal work.

Builders: Halter Marine, Moss Point, MS.

Number Name Year FLT Homeport Group Notes

(T-AGS 51) John McDonnell 1992 (none) (none) MSC Central
(T-AGS 52) Littlehales 1992 (none) (none) MSC Central

Disposal Note: All Conrad and Gyre class ships have been discarded (except Gosport,
listed separately); Mizar has been discarded; both Maury class ships have become
maritime academy training ships; both Chauvenet class ships have been discarded (one
became a maritme academy training ship); H.H. Hess has been discarded, and the last
"Victory" type ships have been discarded. Hayes has been converted to an acoustic trials
Compiled and maintained by Andrew Toppan.
Copyright © 1997-2003, Andrew Toppan. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction, reuse, or distribution without permission