Eastern Shipbuilding and Royal IHC to work together on USACE’s new dredge


Eastern Shipbuilding Group has been contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and construct a new medium-class hopper dredge (MCHD) for the Department of Defense and formally received the notice to proceed.

Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group

The dredge will be constructed at Eastern’s Allanton and Port St. Joe facilities and is scheduled for delivery in 2027.

“On behalf of the highly skilled workforce at Eastern, I thank the Army Corps for entrusting us with this historic hopper dredge project that will serve an indispensable role in our national maritime priorities,” said Joey D’Isernia, CEO, Eastern Shipbuilding Group. “Eastern is the only U.S. shipyard to have delivered comparable dredges in the past 15 years. We look forward to a strong partnership with USACE as we deliver this significant project on their behalf.”

The new hopper dredge will enter the USACE’s Ready Reserve Fleet and will play a critical role in the Corps’ navigation mission and provide for safe, reliable, effective, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems for vital national security, commerce, and recreation needs.

The vessel will replace the 57-year-old Dredge McFARLAND based in the Corps’ Philadelphia District. The Dredge McFARLAND is one of four oceangoing hopper dredges owned and operated by USACE.

Eastern has a successful track record building large and complex hopper dredges for commercial customers. Recent hopper dredge deliveries include the ATB TSHD DOUGLAS B. MACKIE/ELLIS ISLAND delivered in 2017, TSHD MAGDALEN delivered in 2017, and the TSHD R.B. WEEKS delivered in 2023.

Photo courtesy of Eastern Shipbuilding Group

The company has again teamed with Royal IHC, a world-renowned designer and builder of dredging vessels and equipment. IHC has designed a tailor-made state-of-the-art diesel-electric hopper dredge to precisely meet USACE requirements.

The design is the result of knowledge built over years of designing and building similar TSHDs. The hullform, based on Royal IHC’s proven Beagle TSHD-series, provides the best balance of proven carrying capacity, dredging performance, seakeeping, and open water transit operations as well as highly predictable operating characteristics.

Vessel Specifications:

  • Length: 320’
  • Beam: 72’
  • Hull Depth: 28’
  • Draft (hopper empty): 11’3”
  • Draft (hopper full): 25’6”
  • Maximum Hopper Capacity: 6000 yd3
  • Maximum Dredging Depth: 65’