T-AGOS 19 (USNS Victorious) was the lead ship in a class of special mission ships designed during the peak of the Cold War. The need was urgent so only eight months were available for the design, followed by competitively selecting the shipbuilder in only six months. It was also the Navy’s first SWATH (small waterplane area twin hull) ship. Being the first, there were many technical challenges, little time to resolve them, and none of the design tools had been validated full scale. The initial direction was to have industry conduct the design, but NAVSEA strongly objected, pointing out that all the nation’s expertise on SWATHs resided in the Navy (NAVSEA and DTNSRDC). An in-house design was approved, but now NAVSEA had to deliver.
At the time, the NAVSEA technical community was at its peak, comprising over 1000 experienced engineers who were busy conducting a dozen other ship designs and supporting the fleet during the buildup to the 600-ship Navy. This included a small cadre of SWATH experts/enthusiasts. In an unprecedented move ten potential shipbuilders volunteered to join the collocated design team (without fee). Over 90% of their suggestions were adopted. Support from Navy labs and local design agents was exceptional. Program reviews, which bedevil many programs today, were kept to a minimum. The challenging schedule was achieved, and when delivered the ship proved to be operational over 80 percent of the time when on station during the arduous winter months.
Speaker Name & Bio
CAPT Barry Tibbitts, USN (Ret)
Capt. Tibbitts is broadly qualified in all aspects of naval engineering, for both surface ships and submarines, including R&D, design, construction, maintenance, and operations. He was educated at the U.S. Naval Academy and earned two graduate degrees from MIT, served five years at sea on three ships earning surface and submarine warfare qualifications, and spent eight years in shipyards. He commanded the 2700-person David Taylor Naval Ship R&D Center, was Director of the NAVSEA Ship Design Group for six years, and professor of Naval Construction and Engineering at MIT. He has published numerous papers on naval ship design, acquisition, and technology, and is the author of chapters in four books He is a Fellow of SNAME and an honorary life member of ASNE. He received ASNE’s Harold E Saunders Award for lifetime achievements in naval engineering (2006), ASNE’s “Jimmie” Hamilton Award (2018), and SNAME’s ABS Captain Joseph H. Linnard Prize (2019). He is an Assoc. Editor of the Naval Engineers Journal.
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Professional Development Hours (1 hour) are available for this webinar.