Saturday, October 11, 2008

Navy Names Ship After Howard O. Lorenzen ‘Father Of Electronic Warfare’

The Navy announced today that the name of the next missile range instrumentation ship will be USNS Howard O. Lorenzen. Designated T-AGM 25, the ship will honor the late Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) electrical engineer who was instrumental in the creation of our nation’s electronic intelligence capabilities. Considered by many to be the ‘Father of Electronic Warfare,’ Lorenzen’s accomplishments include developments in radar, electronic countermeasures systems, and intelligence satellite designs.

Lorenzen led the Galactic Radiation and Background (GRAB) program, the earliest successful U.S. reconnaissance satellite program and the first electronic intelligence satellite. The NRL began the classified GRAB program shortly after the U-2 incident of 1960 to obtain information on Soviet air defense radars that could not be observed by U.S. military aircraft.

USNS Howard O. Lorenzen will be 12,575 tons, 534 feet in length, and have a beam of 89 feet. Manned by a combined crew of 88 sailors and civilian mariners, the ship will host embarked military and civilian technicians from other U.S. government agencies. The construction contract for T-AGM 25 was awarded to VT Halter Marine Inc., in Pascagoula, Miss.

Missile range instrumentation ships provide platforms for monitoring missile launches and collecting data that can be used to improve missile efficiency and accuracy. Like the Navy’s two current missile range instrumentation ships – USNS Observation Island and USNS Invincible – T-AGM 25 will be owned and operated by Military Sealift Command and conduct missions sponsored by the Air Force.