Page 80: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (May 1992)

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The USS Heron (MHC-52), second of a new class of GRP-hulled U.S. Navy minehunters built by Intermarine

USA, Savannah, Ga.

Intermarine USA Launches

Second Navy Minehunter

The Savannah, Ga., shipyard of

Intermarine USA recently launched the U.S. Navy ship Heron (MHC- 52), the second in a series of advanced minehunter vessels.

The Heron is constructed entire- ly of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) to a design first developed for the

Italian Navy Lerici Class minehunt- ers. The technology was transferred to the U.S. Navy Coastal Minehunt- er Program under a unique arrangement managed by Interma- rine USA, a subsidiary of

Intermarine SpA, a Ferruzzi Group company.

Among the dignitaries in attendance were Georgia Senator

Wyche Fowler, Boris Biancheri, the Italian Ambassador to the U.S., and several senior-ranking U.S.

Navy personnel and Ferruzzi Group officials.

The ship's sponsor was Mrs. Le- onard McRoskey, wife of the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Reserve Affairs.

The ship is a larger version of the successful Lerici Class Italian Mine- hunters that were so effective in the

Persian Gulf mine clearance during

Operation Desert Storm. The Her- on is 188 feet long, 890 metric tons in weight and built entirely of flexi- ble and resilient fiberglass to ensure her survival in the event of a close mine explosion. Her crew of 51 sail- ors will search for mines with a high definition, variable depth sonar and neutralize them with a remotely controlled robot submarine. Sys- tems on board include the Raytheon minehunting sonar AN/SQQ-32 and

Alliant Techsystems mine neutral- ization system.

Propulsion for the vessel is pro- vided by two Isotta Fraschini 8V

AM ID36 amagnetic diesel engines, rated at 800 hp each at 1,800 rpm, and two Voith-Schneider cycloidal propellers.

Heron is the second ship of the

Osprey (MHC-51) Minehunter

Class. The design integrates modern mine countermeasures tech- nology proven in the Persian Gulf into a unqiuely designed platform with exceptionally low magnetic and acoustic signatures to protect against mine detonations during minehunting operations.

Heron will be commissioned by the U.S. Navy and join her sister ship Osprey following an extensive test and trials program in 1993.

Intermarine's third Navy mine- hunter, Oriole, is also under construction in Savannah.

The program to transfer Italian designer and construction technolo- gy to U.S. Navy Mine Warfare shipbuilding programs began in 1986 with the award of a design contract to Intermarine SpA. Inter- marine USA was established in 1987 to build these ships for the U.S.

Navy. The construction contract for

Heron was awarded to the company by the Naval Sea Systems Command in 1989.

For free literature on the boat- building services of Intermarine USA,

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Two Yards Awarded

Deactivation Contracts

The Maritime Administration (MarAd) has awarded two contracts worth a total of $5.2 million for deac- tivation and voyage repairs on the breakbulk vessels SS Santa Ana and

SS Banner.

Mobile, Ala.-based Bender Ship- building & Repair Co., Inc., has been contracted under a $2.3 million award for the SS Santa Ana, and

Stevens Technical Services, Brook- lyn, N.Y., has received $2.41 million for the SS Banner.




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