The Delta Mariner is a 312 foot, shallow-water-capable, stern-loading RoRo vessel. It is operated by Foss Maritime for United Launch Alliance (ULA). The vessel’s primary role is transporting Delta rocket components from the manufacturer, located in Decatur, Alabama, to launch facilities at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Aggressive Schedule Demands Unique Design Approach
The ship had a complicated set of design requirements, needing to navigate both shallow inland waterways as well as the open ocean and be capable of carrying up to three 160-foot (49 m) long Delta IV rocket booster cores. The vessel was developed by Foss Maritime and the proposed design and construction window was very tight. To meet the aggressive production schedule, a “Design Lead” process was used that transferred the design responsibility from group to group.
Many Stakeholders in the Process
Design responsibility needed to transfer smoothly through the partnership and team process, from Owner (Foss) to Owner’s Design Agent (Glosten) to Shipyard (Halter). Each group gave the project the utmost priority, and the product development cycle was completed in just nine months from initial concept sketches to first steel erected. All parties worked collaboratively to quickly resolve issues and resume production.
Working Collaboratively Delivers Better Product, Ahead of Schedule
By using the unique “Design Lead” process and keeping all of the team involved in the ongoing design and construction, the final product was measurably improved, and was delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.
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