The US Navy has awarded an $824.6m contract to the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) for the construction of two T-AKE dry cargo-ammunition ships.

Under the contract, the General Dynamics subsidiary will construct the USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13) and T-AKE 14, the unnamed last of the Lewis and Clark Class dry cargo ships.

NASSCO was awarded a $200m contract in December 2008 for the procurement of engines and other long-lead materials for the ships.

Construction of T-AKE 13 and 14 is scheduled to begin in the second and fourth quarters of 2010. They are expected to be delivered to the navy’s Military Sealift Command in 2012.