US Navy receives final Lewis and Clark-class T-AKE 14 ship

26 October 2012 (Last Updated October 26th, 2012 03:45)

The US Navy has received its 14th and final Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo-ammunition ship, USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14), at General Dynamics's (GD) Nassco ship yard in San Diego, US, marking completion of the shipbuilding programme.

The US Navy has received its 14th and final Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo-ammunition ship, USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14), at General Dynamics's (GD) Nassco ship yard in San Diego, US, marking completion of the shipbuilding programme.

The delivery is part of a contract awarded by the US Navy to construct 14 T-AKE ships for $3.7bn.

Of the 14 vessels, the navy will operate 11 as CLF ships, while the remaining three will be part of the maritime prepositioning force.

"As demonstrated on our successful sea trials three weeks ago, the Cesar Chavez is ready for immediate service to our nation."

General Dynamics Nassco president Fred Harris said: "As demonstrated on our successful sea trials three weeks ago, the Cesar Chavez is ready for immediate service to our nation."

Capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 20k with a beam of 106ft, the 689ft-long cargo-ammunition ship can be deployed to operate independently at extended periods at sea.

Military Sealift Command Pacific commander captain Sylvester Moore said that the USNS Cesar Chavez would boost naval capability for the US Navy.

As the newest class of combat logistics force ships built for Military Sealift Command (MSC), the 42,000t T-AKEs will replace ageing Kilauea-class ammunition ships and Mars- and Sirius-class combat stores ships for the navy.

In addition to transferring more than 10,000t of military cargo and supplies for deployed US forces and coalition partners, the vessels can support conduct specialised missions and strategically preposition combat cargo at sea for the next 40 years.