Cape Ducato class vehicle cargo ship

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Class overview
Builders:Eriksbergs MV AB, Sweden
Ateliers et Chantiers de France
Operators: United States Navy Military Sealift Command
In service:1985–
General characteristics
Type: Vehicle cargo ship
Displacement: 13,220 long tons (13,432 t) light
34,617 long tons (35,172 t) full
Length: 681 ft (207.6 m)
Beam: 97 ft (29.6 m)
Draft: 37 ft (11.3 m)
Propulsion: Diesel engines, single shaft
Speed: 16.2 knots (30.0 km/h; 18.6 mph)
Complement: 9 (Reduced Operational Status)
27 (Full Operational Status)

The Cape Ducato (or Cape–D) class are five roll-on/roll-off vehicle cargo ships of the United States Navy used to rapidly transport US military unit equipment such as tanks, helicopters, wheeled vehicles and other heavy equipment, to support deployed forces worldwide.

Built by Eriksbergs MV AB of Sweden and the Ateliers et Chantiers de France between 1971 and 1973, the ships served commercially before being purchased by the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) in late 1985 from the Barber Steamship Company.

All five ships are currently berthed at Charleston, South Carolina[1] as part of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) in Reduced Operational Status "ROS-5", which allows for a transition to full operating status within five days[2] under the Military Sealift Command.


Service history

In 1998, after Hurricane Mitch, Cape Ducato was one of several ships that transported construction materials to Nicaragua.[8]

In March 2003 Cape Ducato and Cape Douglas were part of a six ship force ferrying part of the 4th Infantry Division to join the Iraq War.[8]

All five ships of the class were activated in support of "Operation Enduring Freedom".[8]