Sea Transportation: November 18, 2001


The US Navy has issued a $709 million contract to General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding to produce the first two of a new class of 12 logistics ships designated T-AKE. The first ship, named Lewis & Clark, will be in service in 2005. The new class is 210 meters long, 32 meters wide, with 41,000 tons full load displacement. The ships have a maximum speed of 20 knots and a cruising range of 14,000 miles. Each ship can carry 7,000 tons of cargo and 23,500 barrels of fuel. These ships will replace the current combat stores, fast combat support, and ammunition ships. The ships are unarmed (they have Nixie torpedo decoys) but have space reserved for Phalanx defense guns to be added later. The ships have hangars for two helicopters (SeaHawks or Sea Knights) and could accommodate a V-22 Osprey on the deck (but not in the hangar).--Stephen V Cole


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