USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
USNS Lewis and Clark in the Atlantic Ocean, December 2006
Career (US)
Name: USNS Lewis and Clark
Namesake: Meriwether Lewis and William Clark
Ordered: 18 October 2001
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding
Laid down: 23 March 2004
Launched: 21 May 2005
In service: 20 June 2006
Status: in active service, as of 2020
General characteristics
Class and type: Lewis and Clark-class cargo ship
Displacement: 41,000 tons (41,700 t)
Length: 689 ft (210 m)
Beam: 105.6 ft (32.2 m)
Draft: 29.9 ft (9.1 m)
Propulsion: Integrated propulsion and ship service electrical system, with generation at 6.6 kV by FM/MAN B&W diesel generators; one fixed pitch propeller; bow thruster
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h)
Range: 14,000 nautical miles at 20 knots
(26,000 km at 37 km/h)
Capacity: • Max dry cargo weight:
  5,910 long tons (6,005 t)
• Max dry cargo volume:
  783,000 cubic feet (22,000 m³)
• Max cargo fuel weight:
  2,350 long tons (2,390 t)
• Cargo fuel volume:
  18,000 barrels (2,900 m³)
  (DFM: 10,500) (JP5:7,500)
Complement: 49 military, 123 civilian
Aircraft carried: two helicopters

USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1) is an American dry cargo ship, the lead ship of her name sake class. It was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The contract to build her was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) of San Diego, California, on 18 October 2001 and her keel was laid down on 22 April 2004. She was launched on 21 May 2005, co-sponsored by Jane Lewis Sale Henley and Lisa Clark, descendants of the ship's namesakes. She was delivered to the Navy on 20 June 2006.


The T-AKE is a new Combat Logistics Force (CLF) Underway Replenishment Naval vessel that replaces the current capability of the Kilauea-class ammunition ship, Mars-class and Sirius-class combat stores ships, and when operating in concert with a Henry J. Kaiser-class oiler, the T-AKE replaces the Sacramento-class fast combat support ship. The T-AKE Program consists of 14 ships with a budget of approximately $4 billion.


As an auxiliary support ship, the T-AKE helps allow the Navy to maintain a forward presence. The T-AKE's primary mission is the delivery of supplies to Navy ships from sources of supply like friendly ports, or from sea using specially equipped merchant ships. The T-AKE transfers cargo — ammunition, food, limited quantities of fuel, repair parts, ship store items and expendable supplies — at sea to station ships and other naval warfare forces. In its secondary mission, the T-AKE may be required to operate in concert with a Henry J. Kaiser-class (T-AO-187) oiler as a substitute on-station ship, providing direct logistic support to ships within a single carrier strike group.

The primary goal of the T-AKE program is to provide effective fleet underway replenishment capability at the lowest life cycle cost. To meet that goal, the ship was built to commercial specifications and standards and was certified/classed by the American Bureau of Shipping, the United States Coast Guard and other regulatory bodies. The ships are operated by Military Sealift Command with civilian mariners crews (123 personnel) augmented by a military department (49 personnel).

This ship was featured in the History Channel's Modern Marvels episode on copper.


The Navy awarded National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of San Diego, Calif., a $406.9 million competitive contract October 18, 2001, to build the first ship of the class, USNS Lewis and Clark. The Navy also exercised a $301.6 million dollar option in the contract for the construction of the second ship of the class, USNS Sacagawea.

The U.S. Navy had previously fielded a ballistic missile submarine named USS Lewis and Clark (SSBN-644).


In February 2009 the ship was deployed off the coast of Somalia as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa. The vessel was fitted out to be used as a prison ship for captured pirates until they could be extradited to Kenya for trials. Sixteen pirates have so far been sent to Lewis and Clark after being captured in two different actions by the USS Vella Gulf.[1] On May 6, 2009 USNS Lewis and Clark was approached by suspected pirates off the eastern coast of Somalia and took evasive action to prevent a successful attack. Suspected pirates then fired small arms weapons from approximately two nautical miles toward Lewis and Clark, which fell one nautical mile short of the ship's stern. Lewis and Clark continued to increase speed and the skiffs ceased their pursuit of the U.S. ship.[2][3][4]


This article includes information collected from the Naval Vessel Register, which, as a U.S. government publication, is in the public domain.

  1. "US Navy Captures More Pirates, May Take Them to Kenya ",, (12 February 2009), available online at "
  2. "Navy ship outruns pirates, officials say", CNN world, (6 May 2009), available online at "
  3. "Somali pirates take Dutch boat, chase U.S. supply ship",, (7 May 2009), available online at "
  4. "USNS Lewis and Clark Prevents Suspected Piracy Attack". Navy News. United States Navy. May 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 

External links

File:USNS Lewis and Clark;09750116.jpg
USNS Lewis and Clark at Souda Bay, Crete, Greece, 24 July 2007

de:USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE-1)