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Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship
US Navy 100831-N-4378P-036 USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) is underway in the Arabian Sea.jpg
USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1)
Class overview
Builders: General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO)
Built: 2001 – 2012
In service: 2006 – present
Planned: 14
Completed: 14
Active: 14
Retired: 0
General characteristics
Type: Dry cargo/Ammunition ship
Displacement: 45,149 tons
Length: 689 ft 0 in (210 m) overall
Beam: 106 ft 0 in (32.3 m)
Draft: 29.9 ft (9.12 m)
Propulsion: Integrated electric propulsion, with generation at 6.6 kV by FM/MAN B&W diesel generators; single fixed pitch propeller; bow thruster
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Capacity: 1,388,000 cubic feet (39,300 m3) of cargo
Fuel Cargo: 23,450 barrels
Complement: 124 civilian mariners
11 Naval personnel
Aviation facilities: Two VREP/Support helicopters

The Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo ship is the next class of Combat Logistics Force (CLF) underway replenishment vessels to be constructed for the United States Navy's Military Sealift Command. Lewis and Clark-class ships will replace the existing fifteen Mars- and Sirius-class combat store ships and the Kilauea-class ammunition ships. When operating in concert with a Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler the Lewis and Clarks will also replace the much faster and more mission capable Sacramento-class fast combat support ships. The first of the fourteen ships, USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1), was placed in service with the MSC in June 2006. The ships lack the overall capabilities and quality of construction and materials used to build the previously commissioned Supply class Fast Combat Support ships (AOE's as they're designated), having been built with budgetary constraints in mind, and as a result cost substantially less to build than the AOE's, but MSC is claiming they'll get a forty-year service life from the new ships. The ships in the class are named after famous American explorers and pioneers.

As part of Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force (NFAF), the mission of T-AKEs 1–14 is to deliver ammunition, provisions, stores, spare parts, potable water and petroleum products to deployed naval forces at sea worldwide. The 689-foot (210 m) T-AKE has the largest cargo-carrying capacity and the largest flight deck of any combat logistics ship afloat. T-AKEs 1 and 2 are assigned to one of the two active Maritime Prepositioning Ship squadrons, which are permanently forward deployed to the Western Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. While identical in configuration to T-AKEs 3–14, the mission of these ships in the class are to provide selective offload of cargo for resupply and sustainment of U.S. Marine Corps forces ashore.

The primary goal of the T-AKE program is to provide effective fleet underway replenishment capability at the lowest life cycle cost. Built to commercial standards, T-AKEs take advantage of industry best practices and can be cost-effectively maintained using commercial, off-the-shelf technology. T-AKEs have built-in environmental protections such as industry-leading “green” waste-management facilities that decrease pollutants by 95 percent. Built in San Diego by General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a total of 14 T-AKEs will be procured, all of which are currently under contract. Also the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system onboard will be world-class energy efficient as a program for upgrades in ongoing.

NASSCO was awarded a detailed design and construction contract in October 2001. The fourteenth ship of the class was delivered on October 24, 2012. As this class has entered serial production, NASSCO has increased learning and production efficiencies to make substantial reductions in labor hours, from hull to hull. For example, T-AKE-7 was produced with fewer than 50 percent of the man-hours it took to produce T-AKE-1, and had a 37 percent reduction in total construction time.


On 8 February 2008, dry cargo/ammunition ship USNS Lewis and Clark — the first ship in Military Sealift Command's newest class of ships — returned to Naval Station Norfolk, Va., after its first deployment.

The ship successfully completed a six-month tour to the U.S. Central Command area of operations to resupply U.S. Navy ships — providing logistics support in the Persian Gulf, around the Horn of Africa, along the length of Somalia and beyond the equator.[1]

USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2) got underway for its first deployment 11 December 2008 in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet area of operations.[2]

USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4) entered the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet area of operations July 24, 2008, marking the arrival of the first Lewis and Clark-class combat logistics support ship in service to the 52,000,000-square-mile (130,000,000 km2) region.[3]


Ship Hull. No. Launched In Service Status NVR Page MSC Page
Lewis and Clark T-AKE-1 2005-05-21 2006-06-20 In Service [1] [2]
Sacagawea T-AKE-2 2006-06-24 2007-02-27 In Service [3] [4]
Alan Shepard T-AKE-3 2006-12-06 2007-06-26 In Service [5] [6]
Richard E. Byrd T-AKE-4 2007-05-15 2008-01-08 In Service [7] [8]
Robert E. Peary T-AKE-5 2007-10-27 2008-06-05 In Service [9] [10]
Amelia Earhart T-AKE-6 2008-04-06 2008-10-30 In Service [11] [12]
Carl Brashear T-AKE-7 2008-09-18 2009-03-04 In Service [13] [14]
Wally Schirra T-AKE-8 2009-03-08 2009-09-01 In Service [15] [16]
Matthew Perry T-AKE-9 2009-08-16 2010-02-24 In Service [17] [18]
Charles Drew T-AKE-10 2010-02-27 2010-07-14 In Service [19] [20]
Washington Chambers T-AKE-11 2010-09-11 2011-02-23 In Service [21] [22]
William McLean T-AKE-12 2011-04-16 2011-09-29 In Service [23] [24]
Medgar Evers T-AKE-13 2011-10-29 2012-04-24 In Service [25] [26]
Cesar Chavez T-AKE-14 2012-05-05 2012-10-24 In Service [27] [28]


This article includes information collected from the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Web site and that of the contractor NASSCO.

External links

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