Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Future USNS Cesar Chavez Completes Integrated Acceptance Trial

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Following four days of intensive testing and trials, the future USNS Cesar Chavez (T-AKE 14) completed Integrated Acceptance Trial Sept. 28, departing from and returning to the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard in San Diego.

T-AKE 14 is the 14th and final Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo/ammunition ship to be presented to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey.

Because of the maturity of the class, the Navy holds only one round of trials on each ship of this class prior to delivery, instead of separate builder's and acceptance trials. This single integrated trial requires less time, fuel and manpower than the conventional multiple trial method. Completion of the acceptance trial is the final major milestone prior to delivery to the Navy.

"Completing trials for the final ship in the Lewis and Clark class is a major milestone in this very impressive shipbuilding program," said Frank McCarthey, the Auxiliary Ships, Small Boats and Craft program manager for the Navy's Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. "This ship trial again demonstrates the maturity of this class, the many lessons learned incorporated, and significant production efficiencies NASSCO has achieved across the class."

The T-AKE program is based on a low risk, commercial-oriented acquisition strategy that has yielded multiple efficiencies. The last five ships of the class have delivered on cost and ahead of schedule, with USNS Cesar Chavez to deliver to the Navy later this year.

T-AKEs are operating in Military Sealift Command's Combat Logistics Force, helping the Navy maintain a worldwide forward presence by delivering ammunition, food, fuel, and other supplies to U.S. and allied ships at sea.

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and special warfare craft. Currently, the majority of shipbuilding programs managed by PEO Ships are benefiting from serial production efficiencies, which are critical to delivering ships on cost and schedule.