Vigor Marine Receives Contract to Overhaul U.S. Navy Dry Cargo Ship USNS Richard Byrd (T-AKE 4)

Vigor Marine is awarded a $12 million firm-fixed-price contract for a 45-calendar day shipyard availability for the regular overhaul and dry-docking of U.S. Navy Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship USNS Richard Byrd (T-AKE 4).

The contract (N32205-20-C-4086) was awarded by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) which operates the vessel. The contract work will be performed in Portland, Oregon, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 9, 2020.

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

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.

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 as 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.

Lewis and Clark-Class Dry Cargo Ships

The Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo ship is a class of 14 Combat Logistics Force (CLF) underway replenishment vessels operated by the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC). The ships in the class are named after famous American explorers and pioneers.

The Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ships (T-AKE) replaced the Navy’s existing fifteen Mars- and Sirius-class combat store ships (T-AFS) and the Kilauea-class ammunition ships (T-AE). When operating in concert with Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers (T-AO), the Lewis and Clark ships have replaced the Sacramento-class fast combat support ships (T-AOE).

In their primary mission role, the T-AKEs provide logistic lift to deliver cargo (ammunition, food, limited quantities of fuel, repair parts and ship store items) to U.S. and allied ships at sea. In their secondary mission, the T-AKEs may be required to operate in concert with a Henry J. Kaiser-class (T-AO 187) fleet replenishment oiler as a substitute station ship to provide direct logistics support to the ships within a carrier strike group.

Two dedicated ships – USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1) and USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2) – provide ammunition, food, repair parts, stores and small quantities of fuel for the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC).


+ Length: 689 ft
+ Beam: 106 ft
+ Displacement: 41,000 tons
+ Speed: 20 knots
+ Civilian: 129


+ USNS Lewis and Clark (T-AKE 1)
+ USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2)
+ USNS Alan Shepard (T-AKE 3)
+ USNS Richard E. Byrd (T-AKE 4)
+ USNS Robert E. Peary (T-AKE 5)
+ USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6)
+ USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE 7)
+ USNS Wally Schirra (T-AKE 8)
+ USNS Matthew Perry (T-AKE 9)
+ USNS Charles Drew (T-AKE 10)
+ USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE 11)
+ USNS William McLean (T-AKE 12)
+ USNS Medgar Evers (T-AKE 13)
+ USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14)

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