National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a General Dynamics subsidiary,
has been awarded a $586 million contract by the US Navy exercising an option on
two further T-AKE dry cargo/ammunition ships. The number of T-AKE combat
logistics force ships to be built by NASSCO stands at eight ships with
options on additional four.
T-AKE program is now valued at $2.5 billion for eight ships. The first unit,
named USNS Lewis and Clark, construction began in September 2003 and will be
delivered in 2005. The second ship is expected to be delivered in 2006. The
seventh T-AKE is expected to be delivered in May 2008 and the eighth ship in
July the same year. These ships will be operated by the Military Sealift
T-AKE ships will transfer cargo, ammunition, food, fuel, repair parts, and
expendable supplies and material to station ships and other naval forces either
in port or at sea. Older T-AE and T-AFS logistics support ships will be replaced
by T-AKE while upgrading the US Navy's ability to maintain its forward deployed
forces. In addition, T-AKE ships will combine proven international marine
technologies such as an integrated electric-drive propulsion system with
commercial design features that will minimize the cost of operation and
maintenance aver their expected 40-year life.
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