General Dynamics NASSCO, a subsidiary of General Dynamics announced the start of construction on the fifth dry cargo-ammunition ship in the U.S. Navy’s T-AKE program. The ship will be named later and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the first quarter of 2008.
NASSCO has been awarded contracts to build nine T-AKE ships. Two additional ships are expected to be ordered by the Navy over
the next two years for a total class of 11 ships. The first ship of the class, USNS Lewis and Clark , was delivered to the Navy on June 20. The second ship, USNS Sacagawea , was launched on June 24 and is scheduled to be delivered in the first quarter of 2007. The third ship, USNS Alan Shepard , is scheduled to be launched on December 5, 2006, and delivered in the summer of 2007. The keel laying of the yet-to-be-named fourth ship will take place on July 28, 2006.
The T-AKE ships are 689 ft. in length and 105.6 ft. in beam, with a design draft of 29.9 ft. and a displacement of 41,000 metric tons. NASSCO has incorporated international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features into the ships, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system, to minimize operating costs over their projected 40-year service life.