Henry J. Kaiser class oiler
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|USNS Big Horn (T-AO-198)|
USNS Big Horn (T-AO-198)
|Name:||Henry J. Kaiser|
|Builders:||Avondale Shipyard, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana (14 ships)|
Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Chester, Pennsylvania (2 ships)
Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Tampa Shipbuilding Company, Tampa, Florida (2 ships; neither completed)
|Preceded by:||Cimarron class|
|Built:||August 1984-May 1996|
|In service:||December 1986-present|
|Cancelled:||2 (both laid up incomplete)|
|Active:||14 as of 12 October 2008|
|Laid up:||3 as of 12 October 2008 (one completed ship and the two incomplete ships)|
|Class and type:||Henry J. Kaiser class fleet replenishment oiler|
|Tonnage:||31,200 deadweight tons|
All ships: 9,500 tons light|
Patuxent, Laramie, and Rappahannock: 42,000 long tons (42,674 metric tons) full load
All other ships: Variously reported as 40,700 long tons (41,353 metric tons) and as 42,382 tons full load
|Length:||677 ft (206 m)|
|Beam:||97 ft 5 in (29.69 m)|
|Draft:||35 ft (11 m) maximum|
16,000 hp (11.9 MW) per shaft|
34,442 hp (25.7 MW) total sustained
|Propulsion:||Two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, two shafts, cp propellers|
|Speed:||20 knots (37 km/h)|
Patuxent, Laramie, and Rappahannock: 159,000 barrels of fuel oil and jet fuel|
Other ships:178,000 to 180,000 barrels of fuel oil and jet fuel
All ships: 7,400 square feet (690 m2) of dry cargo space; eight 20-foot (6.1 m) refrigerated containers with room for 128 pallets
|Complement:||66 to 89 civilian personnel and 7 to 24 U.S. Navy personnel|
Wartime: probably 2 x 20 mm Phalanx CIWS
|Aviation facilities:||Helicopter landing platform|
Five refueling stations|
Two dry cargo transfer rigs
The Henry J. Kaiser class is an American class of fleet replenishment oilers which began construction in August 1984. The class comprises eighteen underway replenishment oilers which are operated by Military Sealift Command to provide underway replenishment of fuel to United States Navy combat ships and jet fuel for aircraft aboard aircraft carriers at sea.
There are stations on both sides of each ship for underway replenishment of fuel and stores. The ships in this class have a small capacity to carry and transfer fresh and frozen foods as well as other materials, and have two dry cargo transfer rigs.
Patuxent, Laramie, and Rappahannock differ from the other 15 ships in having double hulls to meet the requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Hull separation is 6 feet (1.83 m) at the sides and 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) on the bottom.
The first ship, Henry J. Kaiser, was laid down on 22 August 1984, and construction continued until delivery of the final unit, Laramie, on 7 May 1996. Four shipyards were involved in the construction. Of the 16 completed ships, two -- John Ericsson and Kanawha -- were contracted to Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Chester, Pennsylvania, for construction, and Avondale Shipyard, Inc., of New Orleans, Louisiana, built the other 14.
Two ships of the class, Benjamin Isherwood and Henry Eckford, were cancelled prior to completion. Originally, their construction was contracted with the Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which defaulted on the contract in 1989. Later work was performed under a new contract by the Tampa Shipbuilding Company of Tampa, Florida, a division of the American Ship Building Company. Disputes over corrective construction and materials costs between the U.S. Navy and Tampa Shipbuilding resulted in termination of the build contracts for these two vessels in 1993, with Henry Eckford 84 percent and Benjamin Isherwood 95.3 percent complete. The Navy determined that they no longer were needed as oilers, and a study of their potential conversion into ammunition ships concluded that such a conversion was cost-prohibitive. They were placed in an incomplete condition in long-term storage, were struck from the Navy List in 1997, and remain in reserve in the custody of the Maritime Administration.
The class is named for its lead unit, USNS Henry J. Kaiser (T-AO-187), which in turn is named for the American industrialist and shipbuilder Henry J. Kaiser (1882-1967). The first nine ships were named for American shipbuilders, inventors, naval architects, and aeronautical engineers who played important roles in the history of the U.S. Navy, in some cases being the first U.S. Navy ships to be named for the men. The tenth through eighteenth ships were named after American rivers, which is a more traditional naming convention for U.S. Navy oilers.
The ships are in non-commissioned service in the Military Sealift Command, with primarily civilian crews. The 16 completed ships all have seen active service since joining the fleet between 1986 and 1996, although some have spent periods out of service in reserve or in a limited operational status.
| Henry J. Kaiser class oilers]]
- Wildenberg, Thomas (1996). Gray Steel and Black Oil: Fast Tankers and Replenishment at Sea in the U.S. Navy, 1912-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/GSBO/index.html. Retrieved 2009-04-28.