Construction on the USNS William McLean, the navy’s 12th dry cargo ship, has begun by General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics.

USNS William McLean is the 12th ship of the navy’s T-AKE programme christened in honour of the navy physicist William McLean, the founder of heat-seeking Sidewinder missile.

The T-AKE Class dry cargo will deliver 10,000t of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea.

The ship incorporates international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system to minimise operating costs over its projected 40-year service life.

General Dynamics NASSCO has construction contracts for four additional T-AKEs and long-lead material contracts for two more ships for a total class of 14 ships.