MARINETTE, Wis. - Ship builder Marinette Marine has signed a $123 million contract to build a research ship for the University of Alaska.
The 250-foot "Alaska Region Research Vessel" is designed to operate in the icy Arctic Sea.
The stimulus package helped the university and National Science Foundation pay for the ship.
The vessel will carry more than 500 researchers and students annually and spend as many as 300 days per year at sea. Construction is expected to be finished by 2013.
Marinette Marine President Richard McCreary said it will help fill the production gap between their existing Littoral Combat Ship production and a possible future one. The company will know this summer if it gets that Navy contract.