National Steel Lays Keel For U.S. Navy Cable Repair Vessel

recent keel-laying ceremony at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) yard in San Diego initiated construction of the cable repair ship T-ARC-7 (to be named USNS Zeus) for the U.S. Navy. Capt.

Martin G. Hill, USN, supervisor of shipbuilding, conversion and repair, struck the initial arc signalling beginning of construction.

C. Larry French, president and chief operating officer, represented NASSCO at the ceremony.

The 512-foot ship will transport, deploy, retrieve, and repair submarine cables. She will tow acoustic projectors and a cable plow. Also part of the vessel's primary missions will be acoustic, hydrographic, and bathymetric (deepsea) surveys.

The Navy awarded NASSCO the contract for the design, construction, and testing of the technologically unique T-ARC-7 in August 1979. Engineering has been under way since that time, and fabrication of ship assemblies began last October. Launching is scheduled for July 1982, with delivery in September 1983.

The cable repair ship will be powered by diesel-electric drive of 10,000 shp, giving her a cruising speed of 15 knots. She will have accommodations for a complement of 126, and will be manned and operated by a Military Sealift Command civilian crew. Up to 1,000 miles of trunk cable for repair operations on communications lines now laid in ocean depths of up to 10 miles will be carried in the ship.

NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Morrison-Knudsen Company, has a current backlog of approximately $665 million. In addition to the T-ARC-7, ships under contract include two U.S.

Navy destroyer tenders, AD-43 and AD-44, and eight products carriers for private ownership.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 10,  Jul 1981

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Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.