Auxiliary Dry Cargo Carrier (ADC(X))



Auxiliary Dry Cargo Carrier (ADC(X))


  1. ADC(X) Mission Need Statement (MNS) of 21 April 1992
  2. Mission Area Analysis (MAA) for the Auxiliary Dry Cargo Carrier (ADC(X)), Center For Naval Analyses CAB 96-0017.09 of 13 February 1996
  3. Concept of Operations for the Combat Logistic Force, CRM 96-0002.09 of January 1996
  4. The Combat Logistics Force in Support of Global Presence, Center For Naval Analyses CRM 96-134 of February 1997
  5. System Threat Assessment Report (STAR) of TBD
  6. ADC(X) Notional Load Lists
  7. Auxiliary Dry Cargo Ship Port Access Analysis, March 1997, NAVSEA 03D1


  1. Survivability Features
  2. Notional ADC(X) Mission Profiles

1. General Description of Operational Capability.

The ADC(X) Mission Need Statement (MNS), reference (a), responded to the "Defense Planning Guidance FY 1992-1997" dated January 1990, which emphasized the importance of logistics resupply at sea by means of replenishment ships. The purpose of ADC(X) is to replace the current capability of the T-AE 26, T-AFS 1, T-AFS 8 and AOE 1 Class ships. ADC(X) will provide logistic lift from sources of supply such as friendly ports, or at sea from specially equipped merchant ships by consolidation, and will transfer this cargo (ammunition; food; petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL); repair parts; and expendable supplies and material) at sea to station ships and other naval forces. ADC(X) may be required to act in concert with a T-AO Class ship as an equivalent station ship. The ADC(X) is intended to operate independently underway, but could be escorted by Navy combatants when required for protection.

The crew will be U.S. Merchant Marine or MSC civilian mariners and the manning will be in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard minimum requirements for U.S. flag vessels, augmented as applicable by mission requirements. A Military Department will support communications and cargo supply functions. Helicopter operations will be conducted by an Aviation Detachment. Surge berthing of at least 10% of the total accommodations will be provided.

Additional information is provided in references (b),(c),(d) and (e).

2. Threat.

The threat to the ADC(X) is discussed in the STAR (ref e). Survivability features are listed in Appendix A.

3. Shortcomings of Existing Systems.

The current Combat Logistics Force (CLF) capability has been shrinking since 1992 when the five ship AE 21/23 Class began to be decommissioned. The conversion of the five ship AO 177 Class to each carry one hold of ammunition only equals one of these five ammunition ships and these ships will be decommissioned in FY 99. The T-AE, T-AFS and the aging AOE 1 Classes will be retired/decommissioned at the end of their service life, extended to 35-40 years. Although the size of the entire fleet has been decreasing, there will not be enough ships to meet the projected need . ADC(X) is needed to meet the projected CLF capability.

4. Capabilities Required.

The primary goal of the ADC(X) acquisition program is to provide effective fleet underway replenishment capacity at the lowest life cycle cost (LCC). This goal can be met by commercially designed and constructed ships, classed to American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Standards, certificated by the U.S. Coast Guard, and in compliance with other commercial regulatory body rules and regulations. The ships will be U.S. flagged, operated by a civilian U.S. crew, with a minimum of military systems and specifications. Propulsion controls will be automated, permitting unattended engine room operation. The shipbuilding program will be non-developmental in nature, however, industry innovation will be sought to minimize LCC and provide expeditious replenishment of U.S. and NATO ships at sea. Projected service life will be 40 years from completion of Post Shakedown Availability (PSA).

Intership cargo handling capability must provide all replenishment systems and equipment required for seamless interface with existing and planned U.S. and NATO ships. Accordingly, Navy Standard Underway Replenishment (UNREP) Equipment will be used. The ships will employ the connected underway replenishment (CONREP) method as well as vertical replenishment (VERTREP).

Since ADC(X) normally will be expected to operate in company with other naval forces, its defense will be provided by escorting combatants, and therefore its own self defense capability will be minimal.

  a. System Performance.

    i. Cargo Capacity

The ship will have the cargo capacity to stow and efficiently move either the total AFS or the total AE notional loadout. Notional loadouts for the AE and AFS missions are contained in reference f. Separate dedicated cargo stowage will be provided for:

In addition to the notional loads and dedicated spaces, the ship will have a minimum of 465 m2 of stowage area (with a minimum 3 meters clear headroom) for the stowage of outsized cargo. This area will not block the normal cargo handling routes, the ship's self loading areas or interfere with CONREP or VERTREP operations. Vehicle Lashing Assemblies (VLAs) and flush deck sockets will be provided for securing outsized cargo. This stowage area may be located in the weather.

The ship will have the capability to carry approximately 3975 m3 (25,000 barrels) of cargo fuel. This capability will be convertible to either F76 or F44 fuels.

Space for retrograde material is required. This may be space which is utilized for other cargo loads when the ship is fully loaded. However, the designated space should be appropriate for the expected quantity and type of material.

The ship will have the capability to carry 200 MT of cargo fresh water.

    ii. Connected Replenishment (CONREP) Stations

The following CONREP stations will be provided:

    iii. Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)

The ship is to be capable of landing, fueling, and maintaining the H-46D/H-60 helicopter, with a hanger large enough to accommodate two such aircraft. In addition, the flight deck will be capable of day and night landing of the H-53E helicopter and V-22 in accordance with Air Capable Ship Aviation Facilities Bulletin Number 1.

    iv. Cargo Handling

The ship will be capable of simultaneous operation of five stations. This will be either five CONREP or three CONREP stations plus VERTREP.

Cargo handling systems will be designed to operate safely and reliably while minimizing life cycle cost.

The design of intraship (strikeup/strikedown)cargo handling and stowage in combination with the quantity of prestaging area will ensure continuous UNREP at the transfer rate of the CONREP and VERTREP stations. The transfer rate for fueling-at-sea will be at least 1360 m3/hour (360,000 gallons/hour) for the double hose station..

The cargo handling system will permit the safe selective issue of various types and quantities of cargo from stowage to any CONREP or VERTREP station for transfer at sea.

Climate controlled freeze and chill prestaging areas will be provided on the transfer deck.

Temperature and humidity control for the cargo stowage spaces will be provided. All chill and freeze cargo holds will be capable of stowing either freeze or chill cargo.

Separation of cargo will be provided to comply with Navy and regulatory body requirements.

The capability to load/unload cargo to/from a pier or lighterage with ship's own equipment will be provided.

The ship will have the capability to move forklift trucks between cargo holds and transfer stations while at sea.

Deck heights on the ADC(X) will be designed to safely and efficiently handle the notional cargo, as reflected in reference f.

The ADC(X) will be provided with sufficient organic material handling equipment (MHE) to enable efficient loading and offloading of the ship in port or at sea..

    v. Stores Handling

Facilities will be provided for shipboard handling of stores and provisions which are carried onboard for ships own use. Handling equipment will be provided to facilitate strikedown of stores and provisions from replenishment stations to stowage in the ships own storerooms.

    vi. Mobility

Maximum size *
LOA210 metersLess
BeamMaximum allowable for routine transit of the Panama Canal Less
FL Navigational Draft9.5 meters Less
Air draft (Max height above waterline) 41 meters above water line in light operating condition. Less
Sustained speedMinimum 20 knots @ 80% MCR, More
Range10,000 nm @ 20 kts Same
Endurance DaysSTORES DAYS

Dry 90

Freeze 90

Chill 45

Repair 90

Ship Store 90

GSM 90

Medical 90

SeakeepingSafely perform CONREP and VERTREP through Sea State 5, best heading, day or night. Survival of ship, cargo, equipment and personnel through Sea State 8, best heading and speed. Sea States are defined in NATO STANAG No. 4194. Same
ManeuverabilityPerform CONREP at all speeds between 12 and 16 knots, with precise speed and course control , while ships are replenished on both sides simultaneously. Same
Ice StrengtheningABS Class C0 Same

* Note: Size constraints are based on reference g.

    vii. Mission Profile

Notional peacetime and wartime mission profiles are presented in Appendix B.

    viii. Environment

The ship and all its systems will be capable of getting underway, loading/off-loading cargo and operating without performance limitations in the following environmental temperatures:

Outside Dry Bulb
40 C (104 F)
-18 C (o F)
Outside Wet Bulb
31 C (87.8 F)
35 C (95 F)
-2 C (28.4) F

  b. Logistics and Readiness.

The primary requirement for logistics and readiness is to maintain operational availability for completing the ADC(X) mission as well as continued ABS classification and full compliance with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and other regulatory body rules and regulations. Equipment and systems will be procured to commercial standards to the maximum extent practicable and will be non­developmental.

The reliability, maintainability, availability and supportability characteristics of the ADC(X) ship and its critical systems shall be high enough to ensure high probabilities of completing missions at lowest life cycle cost. Actual values for the propulsion system and other critical systems will be developed through interdisciplinary trade-off analyses.

Repair capability will include damage control repair with damage control lockers. The equipment will be organic to the ship and the crew will be capable of effecting repairs and controlling the spread of damage. See Appendix A.

  c. Other System Characteristics.

A capability to tow or be towed will be provided.

The ship will have a service life allowance of 5% weight and 0.15 meters KG based on the full load departure condition when delivered.

Accommodations will be to Military Sealift Command standards. The design will facilitate assignment of separate accommodations for male and female personnel, both crew and Navy Detachment personnel.

5. Program Support.

  a. Maintenance Planning.

The ADC(X) will maintain ABS classification through regular inspections and surveys. Levels of maintenance and time phasing of availabilities will be in accordance with commercial practice. The ship will meet USCG/ABS extended drydocking rules.

The maintenance philosophy for all systems will be based on standard commercial practice and MSC policy, which uses the requirements for USCG certification, ABS classification, and the recommendations of equipment manufacturers as the basis for formulating a maintenance plan.

The ADC(X) will utilize an integrated maintenance planning approach for accomplishing normal and corrective maintenance. The levels of maintenance and time phasing will mirror commercial practice, which entails regular repair and maintenance conducted by the crew or industrial assistance as required.

The ADC(X) will have an automated system to schedule, document, track, and report shipboard maintenance activity. The automated system will produce monthly reports which will be used to monitor the maintainability, reliability, and availability of major systems throughout the ship.

The ADC(X) will incorporate mechanical and electronic diagnostic technology that is commercially proven, nondevelopmental, and cost effective. Embedded diagnostics will be designed into the main propulsion, mission essential cargo handling, major auxiliary systems, and ship control systems.

  b. Support Equipment.

Support equipment normally required by MSC, ABS, U.S. Coast Guard, and other regulatory bodies, for U.S. flag commercial ships will be carried.

  c. Human Systems Integration.

    i. Human Engineering

Human engineering principles and design standards shall be applied to the design of all compartments, spaces, systems, individual equipment, work stations and facilities in which there is a human interface. Where specific design criteria are required, they shall conform to ASTM F1166.

    ii. Safety and Health

Ship arrangements and ship system operations, maintenance and support will not injure, kill or create an adverse health environment for onboard personnel. Ship arrangements and ship system operation, maintenance and support will not interfere with damage or destroy any ship system component. Safety considerations will accommodate full joint/allied interoperability including joint munitions, fuels and aircraft.

  d. Computer Resources.

ADC(X) will provide for installation of fiber­optic cable necessary to support a local area network of desk top micro­computers. Shipboard computer resources include normal commercial navigational and ship control systems and a cargo load planning computer system.

  e. Other Logistics Considerations.

Logistics support may include the use of the Navy supply system as well as commercial distribution networks to reduce life cycle costs. Engineering drawings, commercial technical manuals and technical support data shall be provided in accordance with MSC criteria/instructions. Onboard repair parts will be provided to support corrective and preventive maintenance of equipment in accordance with MSC maintenance philosophy and operating instructions. Crew familiarization will be provided. An automated inventory management and control system will be implemented which incorporates or adopts current and emerging technology suitable to a shipboard environment. All associated software will interface seamlessly with corresponding inventory management systems both at activities ashore and resident in customer ships.

  f. Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I).

C4I will primarily consist of a standard commercial communications capability. The ship will comply with the requirements for safety of life at sea as prescribed by regulations of the International Maritime Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, and the Federal Communications Commission. Systems required to operate and maintain the ship and interface with forces afloat and ashore will be provided. This will include a capability to utilize the International Maritime Satellite (INMARSAT) system and the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS). The ship will have the capability to integrate a STU III secure communications system with its organic communications capability. Both Military and commercial navigation Global Positioning System (GPS) will be provided. The ship will have integrated bridge and engine room control, computer LAN(s) for intra and inter-ship communications, cargo management/control, ship operation and maintenance.

  g. Transportation and Basing.

The ship will operate independently world wide. It will require normal large commercial ship pier and/or mooring and fueling facilities. There are no dedicated training facilities required.

  h. Standardization, Interoperability, and Commonality.

Every effort should be made to provide equipment commonality among all ships of the (each) class. This should include, as far as practicable but not be limited to, the main propulsion drivers and gears, main and auxiliary equipment, and major cargo handling equipment.

Ship support service requirements, i.e., fuel; water; and electrical, are similar to normal, U.S. flag commercial ship requirements. Ship's machinery will be capable of continuous operation using distillate fuel in accordance with ASTM D975, grade 2-D; ISO 8217, F-DMA; NATO F-76; and NATO F-44. Based on the requirement to maintain the existing system interface with both US and NATO fleets, the lack of any equivalent commercial system, the cost to industry to redesign existing Navy equipment and the life cycle cost to the Navy to support non-standard equipment, US Navy Standard Underway Replenishment Equipment will be utilized as government specified equipment.

  i. Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy Support.

Mapping, Charting, and Geodesy Support. No special mapping, charting or geodesy support will be required beyond that provided normally for ships with combat logistics force missions. Standard military data, including digital nautical charts appropriate for combat logistics force ships, will be provided by the Defense Mapping Agency.

  j. Environmental, Safety, and Health Compliance

Protecting the marine environment and the safety and health of shipboard personnel is essential. The ADC(X) will conduct operations, in port and at sea, in such a manner as to minimize adverse impact on the marine environment and human health. The ship will be compliant with all applicable environmental and occupational safety and health regulations, Navy policies, international agreements, and industry standards.

All equipment, systems, and practices designed to protect health, reduce risk, and prevent pollution will meet or exceed current applicable Navy and industry standard of performance, durability, safety of operation, and efficiency.

6. Force Structure.

The end force structure will be such that it meets the requirements of the CLF Master Plan, which is being developed as a product of the ADC(X) Analysis of Alternatives (AoA). The preliminary results of the AoA indicate a need for 10 to 15 ADC(X) Class ships to meet the peacetime and wartime lift requirements.

7. Schedule Considerations.

Initial procurement will commence in FY 2000. Achieving Initial Operating Capability (IOC) in FY 2005 is desired and will occur after lead ship Post Shakedown Availability (PSA). At that time, the ship should have completed Post Delivery Tests and Trials, and deficiencies, including warranty items, should have been corrected. Full operational capability will occur upon delivery of last ship of class.


Shock ResistanceReestablish firefighting, communications and emergency lighting capability after underwater shock exposure. Threshold plus whipping tolerance to Navy Standard keel shock factor.
  • Built in redundancy so that a single equipment failure or loss will not degrade system capability. Redundant system functions will be provided and will be separated so as to avoid the possibility of total system loss due to a single casualty.
  • Magazines- Wet fireman / dry sprinklers
Damage ControlT-Ship DC Management System per MSC standards. Same
Damaged StabilityUSCG Tank Vessel Regulations (Two compartment) MARAD Design Letter #3 modified for two compartment damage.
Electromagnetic Pulse ProtectionThe ship shall be capable of operating in an Electromagnetic Pulse environment. Same
CBR-D capability
  • Weather deck Washdown Capability
  • Personnel Decontamination in accordance with MSC standards.
  • Protective Clothing for every crew member.
Degaussing SystemDegaussed magnetic signature will conform to the level specified in OPNAVINST C8950.2 for Group B ships. Same
BulkheadsCommercial design Blast Hardened: Decrease the spread of blast over-pressure, thereby decreasing the chance of magazine detonation, loss of crew, and loss of mission essential systems.



ADC(X) Peacetime Profile

The notional profile is a 90 day peacetime employment of an ADC(X) in a shuttle mission scenario. Assumes ship will see two CV\BG prior to return to port.

Total Days
Voyage Repair Period
In-port Time (load, refuel, cargo ops, etc.)
Underway ops (unrep, transit, etc.)
Resupply from other ships

ADC(X) Wartime Profile

This notional profile is a 26 day continuous wartime deployment period of an ADC(X) in a shuttle mission scenario using the "next closest" resupply point.

Total Days
In-port Time (load, refuel, cargo ops, etc.)
Underway Replenishment