National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
(NASSCO), announced that the U.S. Navy has exercised options to build two additional ships
under the T-AKE program, a new class of combat logistics force ships. The
$578.2 million contract brings the total number of ships awarded to NASSCO
to six, and the total contract value to $1.87 billion. The contract
includes options for an additional six ships.
> Richard Vortmann
, president of NASSCO, said, "We are extremely pleased
that Congress continues to fund additional ships for the T-AKE program, the
first new Navy combat logistics force ship design in almost 20 years. These
two additional ships will provide sustained employment for 1500-1800 NASSCO
employees through 2007."
> Exercise of this option expands NASSCO's firm backlog to 10 ships, the
largest in the company's history. In addition to the six T-AKEs, the
company is building four double-hull oil tankers for BP Shipping Company of
Alaska. "A 10-ship backlog affirms NASSCO's position as the leading U.S.
builder of commercial ships and the U.S. Navy's 'Center of Excellence' for
construction of auxiliary and support ships," Vortmann added.
> Construction on the first T-AKE, the USNS Lewis and Clark, began in
September 2003. Delivery is scheduled for 2005. The Navy's 12-ship program
will have a total value of $3.7 billion and will give NASSCO a firm backlog
> The T-AKE is a dry cargo/ammunition ship that will be operated by the
Military Sealift Command, providing logistic lift from sources of supply
either in port or at sea. The ships will transfer cargo -- ammunition,
food, fuel, repair parts, and expendable supplies and material -- to station
ships and other naval forces at sea. The T-AKE will contribute to the
Navy's ability to maintain its global presence, replacing aging T-AE
ammunition ships and T-AFS combat stores ships that are nearing the end of
their service lives.
> The T-AKEs will be 210 meters (689 feet) in length and 32.2 meters (105.6
feet) in beam, with a design draft of 9.12 meters (29.9 feet). The ships
will carry almost 7,000 metric tons of dry cargo and ammunition and 23,500
barrels of marine diesel fuel. The T-AKEs will be the first modern Navy
ships to combine proven international marine technologies such as an
integrated electric-drive propulsion system with commercial design features
that will minimize their cost of operation and maintenance over their
expected 40-year life.