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Last T-AKE class ship launched

May 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM

SAN DIEGO, May 9 (UPI) -- The last T-AKE class dry cargo-ammunition ship built by General Dynamics NASSCO for the U.S. Navy has been launched.

A ceremony for the launch of the USNS Cesar Chavez was held Saturday at the NASSCO shipyard in San Diego and attended by Juan M. Garcia III, assistant secretary of the Navy for manpower and reserve affairs, and Helen Chavez, widow of the labor leader for whom the vessel is named.

"This celebration marks the culmination of a successful U.S. shipbuilding program that has spanned nearly a decade," said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "The workmanship of the thousands of people who labored to bring these 14 cargo ships to existence will live on for years to come as these great ships traverse the world, replenishing naval forces across the globe and serving as a critical component of humanitarian aid missions."

T-AKE class dry cargo-ammunition ships are 689 feet long and 106 feet in the beam. They can carry more than 886,000 cubic feet of dry cargo and 25,000 barrels of fuel.

Their range is 14,000 nautical miles at a speed of 20 knots.

Their primary mission is to deliver fuel, food, ammunition and other supplies to combatant ships at sea.

General Dynamics NASSCO said the USNS Cesar Chavez will be delivered to the Navy in the final quarter of this year.

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