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Eastern Shipbuilding Group partners with Royal IHC to build medium class hopper dredge.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a PR published by Eastern Shipbuilding Group on April 3, 2024, the firm has entered into a strategic alliance with Royal IHC to spearhead the construction of a medium-class hopper dredge for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The deep-draft hopper dredge MCFarland. (Picture source: US Army)

The vessel is destined to join the USACE’s Ready Reserve Fleet, replacing the venerable Dredge McFARLAND, which has served the Philadelphia District for over five decades.

This new addition is expected to play a pivotal role in the Corps' mission to maintain and enhance the nation's navigational infrastructure, ensuring the safety and efficiency of waterborne transportation systems essential for national security, commerce, and recreation.

The medium-class hopper dredge has a length of 320 feet and a beam of 72 feet, with a hull depth of 28 feet. Its draft when the hopper is empty stands at 11 feet 3 inches, and when the hopper is fully loaded, the draft reaches 25 feet 6 inches.

The maximum capacity of the hopper is 6000 cubic yards. For dredging operations, the maximum depth achievable with the suction tube positioned at a 45-degree angle is 65 feet.


The McFarland is one of four oceangoing hopper dredges operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Unique in its design, the McFarland is capable of performing dredging through direct pumpout, bottom discharge, and sidecasting or boom discharge, a versatility not found in other dredges. This capability was conceptualized by the Corps' Marine Design Center and brought to life when the vessel was constructed in April 1967.

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