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BMT has been awarded a prime contract to conduct industry studies for the US Navy’s cable ship replacement programme – the T-ARC(X) – the company announced on 8 March.

The contract consists of capability and cost trade studies in key areas, investigation of options to maximise affordability and producibility, and development of a concept design. BMT’s partners on this project include Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG), ABB Marine & Ports, and Noise Control Engineering.

The industry studies are a key step in the Navy’s recapitalisation of its undersea cable installation and repair capability, as the only operational ship, USNS ZEUS (T-ARC 7), is nearly forty years old and needs to be replaced. Additional missions include acoustic, hydrographic, and bathymetric survey; towing projectors; and deploying and recovering UUVs and other packages through its moonpool.

BMT will develop a T-ARC(X) design that integrates its team’s portfolio of operating cable ship designs with a newly-tested hull form. BMT’s approach will apply the successful methodology employed on similar industry studies performed recently. The team also integrates producibility considerations in its approach through its shipbuilding partner, FMG.

Rick Cox, Vice President in BMT’s US defense business, commented “This award demonstrates the strength of BMT as a trusted design partner of choice, the diversity of our vessel portfolio, and our global naval architecture capabilities.”

The award is the latest in a series of similar US government industry studies contracts awarded to BMT, including the Navy’s T-AGOS(X) and the USCG’s Offshore Patrol Cutter programmes. BMT continues to position itself as the leading independent ship design agent in the US, capable of working with shipyards of all sizes to deliver projects ranging from small commercial tasks to complex US government shipbuilding programmes.

The T-ARC(X) programme aims to provide a replacement for the US Navy’s only current cable-capable ship, the USNS ZEUS. (Photo: BMT)

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