SAN DIEGO, May 12 (UPI) -- General Dynamics NASSCO in California reports the keel has been laid for the U.S. Navy's dry cargo-ammunition ship T-AKE 14.
Construction of the Lewis and Clark-class vessel started last October, with a delivery date of late 2012.
When T-AKE 14 enters the fleet, the 689-foot ship will join other Military Sealift Command vessels built by NASSCO to deliver as much as 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions at one time to combat ships at sea supporting military or humanitarian duties in places such as Japan, South Asia and the Mediterranean.
"The efficiency and quality reputation of this program is well documented," said General Dynamics NASSCO President Fred Harris. "In just five years, NASSCO has reduced the labor hours required to build a T-AKE by more than 60 percent, while completing construction in half the scheduled time required to build the first T-AKE ship."
The company said it has implemented more than 20,000 ideas to drive down costs and improve quality as part of its continuing commitment to the efficient production ships for the U.S. Navy.