USNS Indomitable (T-AGOS-7)

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NOAA Ship McArthur II NOAA Photo.jpg
USNS Indomitable (T-AGOS-7)
United States
Name: USNS Indomitable (T-AGOS-7)
Namesake: Indomitable: Incapable of being subdued, overcome, or vanquished
Operator: Military Sealift Command
Builder: Tacoma Boatbuilding Company, Tacoma, Washington
Laid down: 26 January 1985
Launched: 16 July 1985
Acquired: 26 November 1985 (delivered to U.S. Navy)
In service: 1 December 1985
Out of service: 2 December 2002
Fate: Transferred to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 9 December 2002
NOAA Flag.svgUnited States
Name: NOAAS McArthur II (R 330)
Namesake: William Pope McArthur (1814-1850), a United States Coast Survey officer who pioneered hydrographic survey work on the United States West Coast, and NOAAS McArthur (S 330), the NOAA survey ship McArthur II replaced.
Builder: Tacoma Boatbuilding Company, Tacoma, Washington
Acquired: 9 December 2002 (from U.S. Navy)
Commissioned: 20 May 2003
Decommissioned: 18 June 2014
Homeport: Seattle, Washington
Nickname(s): "Big Mac"[1]
Status: Inactive in NOAA Pacific Fleet
General characteristics (as U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship)
Class and type: Stalwart-class ocean surveillance ship
  • 1,565 tons (light)
  • 2,535 tons (full load)
Length: 224 ft (68 m)
Beam: 43 ft (13 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Installed power: 1,600 horsepower (2.1 megawatts)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric: Two General Electric 800-horsepower (1.1-megawatt) diesel engines, two shafts
Speed: 11 knots
Complement: 33 (15 U.S. Navy personnel, 18 civilians)
General characteristics (as NOAA research ship)
Type: ex-U.S. Navy Stalwart-class oceanographic research ship
  • 1,650 tons (light)
  • 2,301 tons (full load)
Length: 224 ft (68 m)
Beam: 43 ft (13 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Installed power: Two General Electric diesel engines (2 × 800 hp (600 kW))
Speed: 10.5 to 11 knots (19.4 to 20.4 km/h; 12.1 to 12.7 mph) (sustained)[2]
Range: 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 km; 9,200 mi)
Endurance: 30 or 45 days[3]
Boats & landing
craft carried:
One 24-foot (7.3 m) Zodiac rigid-hulled inflatable boat (RHIB); one 21-foot (6.4 m) Zodiac RHIB
Complement: Either 22 (5 officers, 4 licensed engineers, and 13 other crew) or 24 (4 officers, 3 licensed engineers, and 17 other crew)[4] plus up to either 15 scientists on domestic voyages or up to 14 scientists plus a Public Health Service during international voyages; or 21 (5 officers, 3 licensed engineers, and 13 other crew, plus 10 to 15 scientists[5]
Sensors and
processing systems:
One Furuno X-band radar, one Furuno S-band radar, both for navigation and collision avoidance; two depth sounders; a Furino Automated Identification System; several Global Positioning System receivers; Speery MK227 gyrocompass
Notes: 600 kilowatts electrical power; 250-kilowatt emergency generator

USNS Indomitable (T-AGOS-7) was a United States Navy Stalwart class ocean surveillance ship in service from 1985 to 2002. From 2003 until 18 June 2014, she was in commission in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the oceanographic research ship NOAAS McArthur II (R 330).


Indomitable was laid down by the Tacoma Boatbuilding Company at Tacoma, Washington on 26 January 1985 and launched on 16 July 1985. She was delivered to the U.S. Navy on 26 November 1985 and placed in non-commissioned service in the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command on 1 December 1985 as USNS Indomitable (T-AGOS-7), a United States Naval Ship with a mixed crew of U.S. Navy personnel and civilian merchant mariners.

Indomitable in 1998 after removal of SURTASS and addition of AN/SPS-49 radar for counter-drug surveillance

U.S. Navy service[edit]

Stalwart-class ships were designed to collect underwater acoustical data in support of Cold War anti-submarine warfare operations. Accordingly, Indomitable employed Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) equipment on Cold War underwater surveillance duties during the final years of the Cold War.

After the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in late December 1991, requirements for such surveillance declined. In 1993, Indomitable's SURTASS gear was removed, and she received an AN/SPS-49 radar for use in counternarcotics surveillance. In her new role for counter narcotics patrol she deployed for two missions per year starting September 1993. As well as her civilian crew, she embarked 18 Navy personal to operate her sensors and coordinate with authorities. For her first five missions she averaged 300 days underway per year operating in the Caribbean Sea and Panama Canal area.

Due to her extended at Sea times, she operated a Civilian Ham Radio station from 1994-1995 for the crew to maintain contact with their families. Stateside operators freely cooperated making long distance calls for the grateful crew.

The Navy retired Indomitable from service on 2 December 2002 and struck her from the Naval Vessel Register the same day.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration service[edit]

NOAAS McArthur II (R 330) sometime between 2003 and 2009

On 9 December 2002, Indomitable was transferred to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA converted her into an oceanographic research ship. She was commissioned in the NOAA fleet as NOAAS McArthur II (R 330) on 20 May 2003, replacing the NOAA survey ship NOAAS McArthur (S 330), which was decommissioned the same day in a combined ceremony.


McArthur II has berthing for 38 people in 18 single staterooms, eight double staterooms, and one quadruple stateroom, providing her with the capacity to carry up to 15 scientists on domestic voyages or up to 14 scientists and a United States Public Health Service officer on international voyages. She can seat 16 people at a time in her crew's mess.

McArthur II has a wet laboratory freezer, a dry laboratory freezer, and an oceanographic laboratory refrigerator. On deck, she has a 2.3-ton-capacity deck crane with a boom that extends to 46 feet (14 m), two oceanographic winches, a movable A-frame, and a movable J-frame. She carries one 24-foot (7.3 m) and one 21-foot (6.4 m) Zodiac rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB).

NOAAS McArthur II (R 330) underway sometime between 2003 and 2009.


McArthur II was an active member of the NOAA Pacific Fleet with her home port at Seattle, Washington. She departed Seattle on her maiden NOAA cruise on 1 June 2003. She conducted oceanographic research and assessments throughout the eastern Pacific Ocean, including along the United States West Coast - where she was involved in studies in several national marine sanctuaries - and the Pacific coast of Central America and South America. She engaged in measurements of chemical, meteorological, and biological sampling for several large-scale programs within NOAA, and the scientists who carry out research aboard her come from many divisions of NOAA, as well as other United States Government agencies, U.S. state government agencies, and academia.

McArthur II was retired by NOAA on 18 June 2014. She had been inactive since 2011.[6]



  1. ^ NOAA Ship McArthur II / R-330 Welcome aboard Packet - - Retrieved December 27, 2007
  2. ^ These two cruising speeds are on the same page of the ship's home page at NOAA Marine Operations NOAAS McArthur II General Specifications (at
  3. ^ These two endurance figures are given on the same page of the ship's home page at NOAA Marine Operations NOAAS McArthur II General Specifications (at
  4. ^ These complement numbers represent two contradictory sets of figures on the same page of the ship's home page at NOAA Marine Operations NOAAS McArthur II General Specifications (at
  5. ^ Per Combat Fleets of the World 15th Edition, p. 1006.
  6. ^ "NOAA says farewell to NOAA ships Ka'imimoana and McArthur II". 2014-06-18. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 


  • Wertheim, Eric, ed. The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World, 15th Edition: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. Annapolis, Maryland: United States Naval Institute Press, 2007. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. ISSN 1057-4581.

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