Algol class vehicle cargo ship

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USNS Regulus
USNS Regulus
Class overview
Builders:T-AKR 287, 289, 293; Rotterdamsche D.D.Mij N.V., Rotterdam, the Netherlands
T-AKR 288, 291; Rheinstahl Nordseewerke, Emden, West Germany
T-AKR 290, 292, 294; AG Weser, Bremen, Germany
General characteristics
Displacement: 55,350 tons
Length: 946.2 ft (288.4 m)
Beam: 106 ft (32 m)
Draft: 37 ft (11 m)
Propulsion: 2 Foster-Wheeler boilers, 875 psi (61.6kg/cm2)
2 GE MST-19 steam turbines; 120,000 hp (89.5 MW)
2 shafts
Speed: 33 knots (61 km/h)
Complement: 43 civilians, 12 military technicians (fully operational), 18 civilians (reduced operating status)

The Algol class vehicle cargo ships, also known as Fast Sealift Ships or FSS, are currently the fastest cargo ships in the world, capable of speeds in excess of 33 knots (61 km/h). Originally built in 1972 and 1973 as high-speed container ships for Sea-Land Services, Inc., the ships' high operating costs limited their profitability. All eight ships were acquired by the US Navy in 1981 and 1982, with the last ship converted, recommissioned and delivered to Military Sealift Command in 1986. The conversion entailed the installation of four cranes, addition of roll on/roll off capability and a redesign of the cargo hold to better facilitate storage of vehicles. Due largely to their high cost of operation, all fast sealift ships are kept in Reduced Operating Status, but can be activated and ready to sail in 96 hours.


All eight ships took part in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, delivering thirteen percent of all the cargo transported between the United States and Saudi Arabia during and after the Persian Gulf War. Fast sealift ships have taken part in Operations Restore Hope, Joint Guardian, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in addition to humanitarian relief efforts across the globe. On October 1, 2007, the United States Maritime Administration began operating all eight FSS. All eight were transferred to the Ready Reserve on Oct. 1, 2008. At this time their USNS designations were replaced with SS designations as they were no longer US Navy Ships.[1]

Fast Sealift Ships

Popular culture

The naval-action book series "Dark Pacific" by David E. Meadows features the Fast Sealift Ships. They are converted into a single Naval platform called "SeaBase".


External links

de:Algol-Klasse fr:Navires de transport rapide