SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Construction began on T-AKE 14, the last designated ship of the T-AKE 1 (Lewis and Clark) class, Oct. 21 at the General Dynamics-NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.
T-AKE 14, yet to be named, completes the class of dry cargo and ammunition replenishment vessels, which serve a key role in the Navy's maritime strategy. They are designed to operate independently for extended periods at sea.
"We started construction on the first ship of the T-AKE class seven years ago," said Frank McCarthey, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships Auxiliary Ships, Boats and Craft program manager. "As the last designated ship of the class starts construction, we know she will continue to benefit from the mature and stable design that has already ushered 10 T-AKE ships into the Navy fleet."
Patricia Richardson, wife of Bob Richardson, General Dynamics-NASSCO director of functional engineering , was given the honors of ceremoniously initiating the first cut of steel.
T-AKE class ships replace Military Sealift Command's aging fleet of single-mission ammunition ships and combat stores ships.
T-AKE 14 will help the Navy maintain a worldwide forward presence by delivering ammunition, food, fuel, and other dry cargo to U.S. and allied ships at sea. Additionally, the ship can carry and support two helicopters for conducting vertical replenishments.
As one of the Department of Defense's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships, an affiliated PEO of Naval Sea Systems Command, is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all major surface combatants, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft.
Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.
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