General Dynamics will build extra Navy logistics ship

SAN DIEGO, 1 Feb. 2006. General Dynamics' NASSCO subsidiary has received a contract option from the U.S. Navy to build an additional ship under the T-AKE program, a new class of combat logistics force ships.

SAN DIEGO, 1 Feb. 2006. General Dynamics' NASSCO subsidiary has received a contract option from the U.S. Navy to build an additional ship under the T-AKE program, a new class of combat logistics force ships.

The $317 million contract brings the total number of T-AKE ships awarded to NASSCO to nine, and the total contract value to $2.8 billion. Options for three additional T-AKE ships remain available under the existing contract.

The T-AKE is a dry cargo/ammunition ship that will be operated by the Military Sealift Command, providing logistic support from sources of supply either in port or at sea. The ships will transfer cargo -- ammunition, food, fuel, repair parts, and expendable supplies and material -- to station ships and other naval forces at sea. The T-AKE will substantially upgrade the Navy's ability to maintain its forward-deployed forces, replacing aging T-AE ammunition ships and T-AFS combat stores ships that are nearing the end of their service lives.

The T-AKEs are 210 meters (689 feet) in length and 32.2 meters (105.6 feet) in beam, with a design draft of 9.12 meters (29.9 feet). The ships can carry almost 7,000 metric tons of dry cargo and ammunition and 23,500 barrels of marine diesel fuel. The T-AKEs are the first modern Navy ships to combine proven international marine technologies such as an integrated electric-drive propulsion system with commercial design features that will minimize their cost of operation and maintenance over their expected 40-year life.

The exercise of this option brings NASSCO's backlog to ten ships, including the nine T-AKEs and the fourth of four double-hull oil tankers being built for BP Shipping Company of Alaska.

"Our strong backlog affirms NASSCO's position as a U.S. Navy 'Center of Excellence' for designing and building auxiliary and support ships, and as a leading U.S. builder of commercial ships," said Fred Harris, president of NASSCO.

The first T-AKE, the USNS Lewis and Clark, was launched in May 2005 and delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of this year. The second T-AKE, to be named the USNS Sacagawea, is now in full-rate production and will be launched on May 23, 2006. Construction on the third T-AKE, to be named the USNS Alan Shepard in honor of the first American in space, began last September.

"NASSCO has hired and trained hundreds of employees to build this class of ships, and this award will provide sustained employment for approximately 1,000 skilled NASSCO employees through 2009," Harris said.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 72,200 people worldwide and had 2005 revenue of $21.2 billion. The company is a market leader in mission-critical information systems and technologies; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and business aviation. For more information, see www.generaldynamics.com or www.nassco.com.

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