SAN DIEGO, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- General Dynamics NASSCO has turned over a new T-AKE class ammunition ship to the U.S. Navy.
"General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (has) delivered USNS Richard E. Byrd -- T-AKE 4 -- to the U.S. Navy. The ship is the third T-AKE-class ship delivered by the San Diego shipyard in 2007, the fourth overall," the company said in a statement last week.
"Delivering three ships in one year is extraordinary in U.S. military shipbuilding today and demonstrates the significant shipbuilding capability of the NASSCO-Navy team," said Frederick J. Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. "More important, the Navy's feedback on the performance of these ships in support of deployed combatants has been overwhelmingly positive."
General Dynamics said the USNS Richard E. Byrd was "the fourth in an expected class of 14 dry cargo-ammunition ships for the Navy."
"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. With a cargo capacity of more than 10,000 tons, the primary mission of T-AKE ships is to deliver food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions from shore stations to combat ships at sea," the company said.
"The Richard E. Byrd is named in honor of the Medal of Honor recipient who made the first-ever flights over the North and South Poles. The previously delivered ships by NASSCO in 2007 are USNS Sacagawea -- T-AKE 2 -- in February and USNS Alan Shepard -- T-AKE 3 in June. USNS Lewis and Clark -- T-AKE 1-- was delivered in June 2006. The fifth through eighth ships of the class are currently under construction for deliveries through the third quarter of 2009," General Dynamics said.
General Dynamics said its NASSCO subsidiary "employs more than 4,600 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. In addition to the T-AKE program, the San Diego shipyard is building the first of nine product carriers for U.S. Shipping Partners L.P."