General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary
of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), delivered USNS Richard E. Byrd
(T-AKE 4) to the U.S. Navy. The ship is the third T-AKE-class ship delivered by the San Diego shipyard in 2007, the fourth overall.
USNS Richard E. Byrd is the fourth in an expected class of 14 dry cargo-ammunition ships for the Navy. Construction of the 689-foot-long ship began in February 2006. NASSCO has incorporated international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features into the T-AKE class ships, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system, to minimize operating costs during their projected 40-year service life. With a cargo capacity of more than 10,000 tons, the primary mission of T-AKE ships is to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions from shore stations to combat ships at sea.
The Richard E. Byrd is named in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient who made the first-ever flights over the North and South Poles. The previously-delivered ships by NASSCO in 2007 are USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) in February and USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) in June. USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) was delivered in June 2006. The fifth through eighth ships of the class are currently under construction for deliveries through the third quarter of 2009.