PASCAGOULA, Miss., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of its seventh Pathfinder-class oceanographic survey ship, the USNS Maury from builder VT Halter Marine.
USNS Maury will be used to perform acoustical, biological, physical and geographical surveys. The ship was accepted nearly three months after completing its acceptance trials in November 2015, which involved a week of extensive testing.
"The Navy's acceptance of T-AGS 66 is the culmination of a dedicated team effort between the Navy and VT Halter," Navy Program Executive Office Support Ships, Boats and Craft program manager Mike Kosar said in a statement. "I look forward to learning of the new and innovative contributions to science and ocean exploration that USNS Maury and her crew will undoubtedly make over the next 30 years."
The ship is 353 feet long and 58 feet wide. USNS Maury is 24 feet longer than the previous T-AGS ship, allowing room for a moon pool used for deploying and retrieving underwater vehicles.
The vessel will be operated by the U.S. Military Sealift Command, which is comprised of civilian-crewed ships used to replenish Navy ships, conduct undersea surveillance and transport military equipment.
Oceanographic survey ships collect data on the ocean environment, which the Navy can use to improve technology in undersea warfare and enemy ship detection.
USNS Maury is named after Cmdr. Matthew Fontaine Maury, nicknamed "Pathfinder of the Seas" and the "Father of Modern Oceanography."