The event was held yesterday at the shipyard in Moss Point.
The USNS Maury Survey Ship will have state-of-the-art survey equipment to undertake oceanographic surveys anywhere in the world.
Navy officials say the $87-million ship will also assist with humanitarian and disaster aid missions.
VT Halter has built six of the original vessels.
The all-steel vessel can carry a 67-person crew.
Bill Skinner, CEO of VT Halter, says it will take about 18 months to complete the ship.