USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4)

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USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4) underway outside San Diego harbor.
Name: USNS Richard E. Byrd
Namesake: R.ADM Richard Evelyn Byrd
Awarded: 18 July 2003
Builder: National Steel and Shipbuilding
Laid down: 28 July 2006
Launched: 15 May 2007
Completed: 14 November 2007
In service: 8 January 2008
Motto: Qua Patet Orbis
(As Far As the World Extends)
Status: in active service, as of 2020
Badge: 153px
General characteristics
Class and type: Lewis and Clark-class cargo ship
Displacement: 23,852 tons light,
40,298 tons full,
16,446 tons dead
Length: 210 m (689 ft) overall,
199.3 m (654 ft) waterline
Beam: 32.3 m (106 ft) extreme,
32.3 m (106 ft) waterline
Draft: 9.1 m (30 ft) maximum,
9.4 m (31 ft) limit
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 kt
(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: 123 civilian, 12 USN staff
Aircraft carried: two helicopters, either Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk or Aerospatiale Super Puma

USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE-4) is a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship in the United States Navy. She is the second United States Navy ship to be named after polar explorer Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd (1888–1957).

The contract to build her was awarded to National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) of San Diego, California, on 18 July 2003. She was launched from the building ways into the San Diego Bay on the evening of 15 May 2007; Bolling Byrd Clarke, Admiral Byrd's eldest daughter, broke the ceremonial bottle of champagne on the ship's bow to start the launch amid fireworks and fanfare.[1] Construction continued until the U.S. Navy accepted her on 14 November 2007. Additional construction work continued until she was delivered to Military Sealift Command (MSC) for crewing and placed in service on 8 January 2008.

She completed a fitting-out period as well multiple operational inspections and trials, including a full INSURV inspection on 27 March 2008. A final period of modifications and design alterations was completed during a 70-day availability before full fleet introduction on 25 July 2008. The ship joins the Pacific Fleet and predominantly operates in the Far East and Indian Ocean operation areas.


Based on data from the Naval Vessel Register and press releases.

External links

File:USNSRichard E Byrd T-AKE-4 San Diego S Harbor 11 Jan 2008.JPG
Richard E. Byrd (center) and Robert E. Peary (behind) in dock in San Diego, January 2008.
File:USNSRichardEByrd 070515.jpg
Richard E. Byrd, is launched into the San Diego Harbor after a christening ceremony, May 15, 2007.