July 13, 1999 -- SAN DIEGO, CA -- National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) today delivered the USNS DAHL to the U.S. Navy. The USNS DAHL (T-AKR 312) is the third Sealift New Construction ship built by NASSCO under the Strategic Sealift Program and the third ship to be completed under target cost and delivered to the Navy ahead of schedule.
The USNS DAHL is the first ship delivered under NASSCO's single integrated trial concept, a process that reduced the delivery schedule by five weeks and saved the U.S. Navy hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A total of seven Sealift New Construction ships have been awarded to NASSCO. All seven ships are being named for U.S. Army Medal of Honor recipients. The USNS DAHL is named after Specialist Fourth Class Larry G. Dahl, a posthumous recipient of the U.S. Army Medal of Honor for heroic actions in Vietnam in 1971.
The Sealift New Construction ships are large, medium-speed, roll-on, roll-off (RO/RO) ships (LMSRs). The ships are assigned to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command, carrying prepositioned U.S. Army equipment, vehicles and supplies near potential areas of conflict around the world.
The cargo of the Sealift vessels includes armored personnel carriers, tanks, tractor-trailers, helicopters and high-mobility military vehicles. Other uses of the ships are to provide stores for surge sealift support of remote military actions. Their multi-use capabilities make these cargo ships among the most flexible ever built. The USNS DAHL is 950 feet in length and contains 390,000 square feet of cargo carrying space.
The first new construction ship, the USNS WATSON (T-AKR 310), was delivered in July 1998, four months ahead of schedule. The second ship, the USNS SISLER (T-AKR 311) was delivered in December 1998, six months early. The fourth ship, the USNS RED CLOUD (T-AKR 313), will be launched on August 7, 1999, and then undergo a period of final outfitting at a NASSCO pier. The fifth ship is already under construction on NASSCO's inclined building ways.
In addition to building the seven Strategic Sealift New Construction ships, from 1993-1997 NASSCO converted three containerships to Strategic Sealift ships.
A total of 19 LMSRs, both conversions and new buildings, are planned to be delivered by U.S. shipyards by the year 2001 under the Strategic Sealift program being managed by the Naval Sea Systems Command.
NASSCO, a General Dynamics' company, is the only West Coast shipyard capable of building and repairing large, ocean-going vessels. The shipyard employs approximately 3,500. More information on NASSCO can be obtained from the company's Web site at www.nassco.com.