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News

General Dynamics - Keel of USNS 'Wally Schirra' Laid


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General Dynamics
: 17 April, 2008  (New Product)
General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, has laid the keel for USNS Wally Schirra, the eighth dry cargo-ammunition ship in the U.S. Navy’s T-AKE program.
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter recently named the ship in honor of the late Navy captain and original NASA pioneer. The Wally Schirra is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the third quarter of 2009.

On April 21, NASSCO will begin construction of the ninth ship of the Lewis and Clark (T-AKE) class. The ship will be named later and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in the first quarter of 2010.

“From keel-laying to delivery, NASSCO is significantly reducing the T-AKE build cycle with each subsequent ship and providing substantial cost savings to the Navy,” said Frederick J. Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “What took 26 months to complete on T-AKE 1 is now projected to take 16 months for T-AKE 8 and 9. NASSCO recognizes that the timely delivery of these high-quality ships helps the Navy improve its global combat logistics capabilities.”

NASSCO has delivered the first four ships of the Lewis and Clark class and will deliver the fifth ship, USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5), in June. USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) was launched on April 6 and USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7) is under construction at the San Diego shipyard.

The T-AKE ship incorporates international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system to minimize operating costs over its projected 40-year service life. The primary mission of the ships is to deliver as much as 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea. NASSCO has contracts to build 11 T-AKE ships. The Navy has options to build three additional ships for a total class of 14 vessels.

Located in San Diego, NASSCO employs more than 4,700 people and is the only major ship construction yard on the West Coast of the United States. In addition to the T-AKE program, the shipyard is building the first two product carriers under a nine-ship order from U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. More information on NASSCO can be found at www.nassco.com.

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