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TAGS 26 Silas Bent
Survey Ship

The Silas Bent class of surveying ships were designed specifically for surveying operations. They have a bow propulsion unit for precise maneuverability and station keeping. The two similar units of the Wilkes class were recently discarded, with WilkesT-AGS-33 transfered to Tunisia on 29 September 1995.

Survey Ships gather data which provides much of the military's information on the ocean environment. Oceanographic and hydrographic survey ships are used to study the world's oceans. The collected data helps to improve technology in undersea warfare and enemy ship detection. The oceanographic and hydrographic survey ships' multibeam, wide-angle precision sonar systems make it possible to continuously chart a broad strip of ocean floor. Military Sealift Command's Special Missions program supports worldwide oceanographic programs with ships which perform acoustical, biological, physical and geophysical surveys.

Dyn Marine Services of Virginia, Inc.(DMS) a unit of DynCorp, manages, operates, and maintains these ships for the Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) in Mississippi. DMS provides logistics, operations, engineering, and manning support for these US Naval oceanographic ships which are coordinated from the DMS Reston office. The ships are operated worldwide conducting ocean surveys at the direction of NAVOCEANO, with Commander Military Sealift Command (COMSC) acting as the Administrative Command.


Builder American SB Co., , Lorain OH
Christy Corp, Sturgeon Bay, WI
Defoe Shipbuilding
Power Plant Diesel-electric; 2 Alco diesel generators;
1 Westinghouse/GE motor; 3,600 horsepower (2.69 MW);
1 shaft; cp prop;
bow thruster; 350 horsepower (261 kW)
Length Overall Length: 285 ft [287 ft TAGS-33/34]
Waterline Length: 265 ft
Beam Extreme Beam: 48 ft
Waterline Beam: 48 ft
Draft Maximum Navigational Draft: 15 ft
Draft Limit: 17 ft
Displacement Light Displacement: 1935 tons
Full Displacement: 2580 tons [2540 tons TAGS-33/34]
Dead Weight: 645 tons
Speed 15 knots when towing
Crew 31 civilians (12 officers) plus 28 scientists


Name Number Builder Homeport Ordered Commissioned Decommissioned
Silas Bent T-AGS 26 American SB Pacific 23 May 1963 23 Jul 1965
Kane T-AGS 27 Christy Corp Atlantic 05 Feb 1964 19 May 1967
Wilkes T-AGS 33 Defoe SB 27 Sep 1967 28 Jun 1971 29 Sep 1995
Wyman T-AGS 34 Defoe SB Pacific 27 Sep 1967 03 Nov 1971 10 Mar 1997

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Saturday, January 23, 1999 7:26:13 PM