General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), today launched the U.S. Navy’s newest resupply ship, USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2). The ship is named in honor of the Native American woman who helped guide and interpret for Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their legendary exploration
of the American West.
The ceremony took place here at the NASSCO shipyard. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee
, was the principal speaker for the ceremony.Two of Sacagawea’s descendents, Mrs. Lucy Diaz and Ms. Rachel Ariwite, both of Bingham County ,
Idaho , are the ship’s sponsors and christened the ship during the twilight ceremony.
USNS Sacagawea is the second ship in an expected class of 11 dry cargo-ammunition ships for the Navy. NASSCO has contracts to build the first nine ships. The T-AKE class 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 first ship of the class, USNS Lewis and Clark , was delivered to the Navy on June 20.
Construction of Sacagawea began in September of 2004. It is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command in the first quarter of 2007. When it joins the fleet, the ship’s primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea. The ship has modular cargo holding and handling systems onboard and can carry more than 6,600 tons of dry cargo and nearly 23,500 barrels of fuel.
The ship is the third Navy vessel to be named Sacagawea . The previous two vessels were harbor tugboats in service during World War II.