General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), began construction of the future USNS William McLean, the twelfth ship of the U.S. Navy’s T-AKE program. The William McLean is named in honor of the Navy physicist who conceived and developed the heat-seeking Sidewinder missile. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the third quarter of 2011.
The T-AKE ship incorporates international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system to minimize operating costs over its projected 40-year service life. The primary mission of T-AKE ships is to deliver as much as 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea. NASSCO has delivered the first eight
T-AKEs, which are also known as Lewis and Clark-class ships. The shipyard also has construction contracts for four additional T-AKEs and long-lead material contracts for two more ships for a total class of 14 ships.