General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), laid the keel for USNS Washington Chambers, the eleventh ship of the Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo-ammunition ships (T-AKE). Construction of the Washington Chambers began in March. The ship is named in honor of the naval officer who oversaw the development of the U.S. Navy’s aviation program. NASSCO is scheduled to deliver the ship to the Navy in the first quarter of 2011.
NASSCO has delivered seven T-AKE ships to the Navy and is under contract to build five additional T-AKE ships, including the Washington Chambers. The Navy has also provided long-lead material funding to NASSCO for two more ships for a total class of 14 T-AKE vessels.