General Dynamics NASSCO delivered USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3) to the U.S. Navy. The ship is named in honor of the late Mercury and Apollo astronaut
USNS Alan Shepard will
remain in San Diego for about three months to conduct crew familiarization and final outfitting. The ship will be part of the Navyâ€™s Military Sealift Command fleet and will operate in support of the Navyâ€™s Pacific Fleet. With a cargo capacity of more than 10,000 tons, Alan Shepardâ€™s primary mission will be to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions from shore stations to combat ships at sea.
The Alan Shepard is the third in an expected class of 11 dry cargo-ammunition ships for the Navy. Construction of the 689-foot-long ship began in September 2005. 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. The San Diego shipyard has contracts to build the first nine ships. USNS Lewis and Clark and USNS Sacagawea have already been delivered to the Navy. The fourth through seventh ships of the class are currently under construction.