The Neil Armstrong Class of Auxiliary General Oceanographic Research (AGOR) vessels are-equipped modern platforms capable of satisfying a wide range of research activities conducted by academic institutions and national laboratories involved in oceanographic research. As part of the nation's University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) vessels, the ships have been delivered to the Office of Naval Research and operated under charter-party agreements by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, respectively.
The Armstrong Class is named to honor the memory of Neil Armstrong, best known for being the first person to walk on the moon. Armstrong was an aeronautics pioneer and explorer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) serving as an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator. Armstrong also served as a naval aviator flying nearly 80 combat missions during the Korean War. Armstrong left the Navy at age 22 on August 23, 1952. He remained in the U.S. Navy Reserve for eight years, resigning his commission in 1960.
|PADILLA BAY, Wash. (Feb. 25, 2016) The Research Vessel R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28) successfully completed Acceptance Trials. Following delivery R/V Sally Ride will support ongoing oceanographic research efforts under the operation of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Based on a single-hull commercial design, the vessel incorporates the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses, and new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world. (US Navy Photo/Released)
The second ship of the class, the R/V Sally Ride (AGOR 28), is named for the first American woman in space. A PhD physicist, accomplished astronaut, professor of physics at University of California, San Diego, and award-winning author of science books for children, Sally Ride devoted her life to scientific accomplishment, technical achievement, space exploration and igniting students’ enthusiasm for science to encourage them to pursue careers in science, math, and technology.
Designed as single-hull ships, R/V Neil Armstrong (AGOR 27) and R/V Sally Ride are approximately 238 feet long and incorporate the latest technologies, including high-efficiency diesel engines, emissions controls for stack gasses, new information technology tools both for monitoring shipboard systems and for communicating with the world, and hull coatings to reduce maintenance requirements. Each vessel will operate with a crew of 20 with accommodations for 24 scientists.
The Navy has been a leader in building and providing large research ships for the nation's academic research fleet since World War II. The new Armstrong Class ships will replace two previously Navy-built and owned vessels. The ships to be replaced, R/V Melville (AGOR 14) and R/V Knorr (AGOR 15), have both served the nation's oceanographic needs for more than forty-six years.
Both ships were constructed at Dakota Creek Industries, Inc., located in Anacortes, Wash. AGOR 27 was delivered September 23, 2015 and AGOR 28 was delivered July 1, 2016.