BMT to Conduct Studies for Navy Cable Ship Program

Consultancy BMT has been awarded a contract to study the replacement of Navy cable-laying ships such as the USNS Zeus, seen here, which is nearly 40 years old.

Design, engineering, science and risk management consultancy BMT has been awarded a prime contract to conduct industry studies for the U.S. Navy’s T-ARC(X) cable ship replacement program.

The contract consists of capability and cost trade studies in key areas, investigation of options to maximize affordability and producibility, and development of a concept design.

BMT’s partners on this project include shipbuilder Fincantieri Marine Group (FMG), marine engineering company ABB Marine & Ports and acoustical engineering consulting firm Noise Control Engineering.

The industry studies are a key step in the Navy’s recapitalization of its undersea cable installation and repair capability, as the only operational ship, USNS Zeus (T-ARC 7), is nearly 40 years old and needs to be replaced.

Additional tasks include acoustic, hydrographic, and bathymetric survey; towing projectors; and deploying and recovering UUVs and other packages through its moonpool.

BMT, which is headquartered in the UK, but has locations in Tacoma, Wash., San Diego County and elsewhere globally, says it will develop a T-ARC(X) design that integrates its team’s portfolio of operating cable ship designs with a newly tested hull form. The team also integrates producibility considerations in its approach through its shipbuilding partner, FMG.

“We’re excited to continue our vessel design support to the U.S. Navy,” Rick Cox, Vice President in BMT’s U.S. 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 U.S. Government industry studies contracts awarded to BMT, including the Navy’s T-AGOS(X) and USCG’s Offshore Patrol Cutter programs.