Mars class combat stores ship

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USS Mars (AFS-1), lead ship of the class
Class overview
Builders:National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
Operators: United States Navy
Succeeded by:Lewis and Clark class dry cargo ship
General characteristics
Class and type: Mars class combat stores ship
Displacement: 9,200 long tons (9,348 t) light
15,900–18,663 long tons (16,155–18,962 t) full load
Length: 581 ft (177.1 m)
Beam: 79 ft (24.1 m)
Draft: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Propulsion: • 3 × Babcock and Wilcox boilers, 580 psi (3.7 MPa); 8250 °F (4400 °C)
• 1 × De Laval turbine
• 22,000 shp (16.4 MW) sustained
• 1 shaft
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h; 24 mph)
Complement: 26 Navy personnel, 118 civilians
Armament: • 4 × 3"/50 caliber guns (2×2) (originally 6)
• Chaff Launchers
• 4 × M240G 7.62×51 mm medium machine guns or M249 5.56×45 mm light MG
• 1 M2 12.7×99 mm heavy machine gun when security detachment is embarked
Aircraft carried: 2 × MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters

The Mars-class combat stores ships are a class of seven auxiliary vessels of the United States Navy. They are designed for underway replenishment, in support of carrier task force groups, carrying miscellaneous stores and munitions. Initially they carried no fuel oil or liquid cargo, but by the early 1990s the class was refitted with limited refuel capacities for F-76 Fuel. Only three of the original seven ships originally commissioned by the US Navy remain in service. This class is being replaced by Lewis and Clark class dry cargo ship.

Cargo capacity is approximately 7,000 tons in five holds, with hangar space for two UH-46 helicopters.

Brief history

These ships were constructed in mid-1960s, while early units commissioned in the late 1960s served in the Vietnam conflict. The vessels supported combat operations off the coast, were known to have shot down Vietnamese aircraft defending themselves.

These ships continued to support naval units during their time in service in US Navy until the mid-1990s. These ships were present and supported operations in Red Sea and the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

By the mid-1990s, five of the seven ships were transferred to the Military Sealift Command.


The ships of the class are named for American resort and significant historical towns/cities.