T-AG 195 Hayes
The USNS Hayes, variously classified as a Sound Trials Ship or an Acoustic Research Ship, is the Navy's only facility capable of full-spectrum active and passive ship acoustic signature measurements. HAYES provides the capability to perform RDT&E evaluations to determine the sources of ship noise, to assess vulnerability, and to develop quieting measures. HAYES is able to conduct acoustic trials both underway using a towed array and moored when conducting more conventional ship signature trials.
USNS Hayes, the quietest research ship in the world, is one of 28 special missions ships operated by Military Sealift Command providing operating platforms and services for unique U.S. military requirements. Special missions ships work for several different U.S. Navy customers, such as the Naval Sea Systems Command, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and the Oceanographer of the Navy.
USNS Hayes' mission is to transport, deploy and retrieve acoustic arrays, to conduct acoustic surveys in support of the submarine noise reduction program and to carry out acoustic testing. The catamaran design provides a stable platform with a large deck availability. The design also permits installation of a center-line well, with access to sheltered water between the hulls. The ship is equipped with two auxiliary propulsion diesel engines for use during acoustic operations, providing a creeping speed of 2-4 knots
USNS Hayes was laid down Nov. 12, 1969 as AGOR-16. Launched July 2, 1970, AGOR-16 was intended to be used by Hudson Laboratories of Columbia University under contract to the Office of Naval Research and to be named Hudson. The ship was transferred to the Ready Reserve on June 10, 1983 and transferred to James River (Maritime Administration) for lay-up in 1984 having been too costly to operate. Under FY86 program, Hayes was converted to an Acoustic Research Ship; reclassified T-AG 195 and completed in early 1992 after five years' work in two shipyards.
One aspect of post-World War Ii ship quieting efforts was full-scale trial measurements to pinpoint noise problems. On the East Coast, trials started off the New England coast with a Fleet tugboat, using a hydrophone trailing from its side. From the mid-50s to the early 60s, testing began in the Bahama Islands on Fleet tugs. Then, a dedicated platform for tests became necessary. Instrumentation labs were installed on an old water barge that was commissioned and named MONOB. Without propulsion, MONOB needed to be towed from its homeport of Charleston, South Carolina to the Bahamas test site. In 1964, towing MONOB became too labor intensive; it was equipped with propulsion and homeported in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where it continued to operate until 1991. In the 1980s, a second vessel was acquired called Deer Island, principally for surface ship measurements. At the same time, an effort ensued to find a new larger and quieter vessel to operate on the East Coast, which resulted in the acquisition ofUSNS Hayes. The ship was extensively overhauled, making it the quietest surface ship in the U.S. Navy arsenal today. Currently, both MONOB and Deer Island are part of the Mexican Navy involved with drug interdiction operations.
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