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USS Butte (AE 27) on 18 May 1983.
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Class: KILAUEA (AE 26).
Design: SCB Project Nos. 703.65 and 703.66
Displacement (tons): 11,915 light, 20,169 full (AE 26)
Dimensions (feet): 564' oa, 540' wl x 81' e/wl x 31' max nav
Armament: 4-3"/50T; (28 and 29: 1976, others 1979) 2-3"/50T; (35: 1983, others except 26: 1988-90) 2-3"/50T, 2-CIWS; (same: 1993) 2-CIWS
Accommodations: 28 officers, 375 enlisted (AE 26)
Speed (kts.): 22 (20 sustained)
Propulsion (HP): 22,000
Machinery: Steam turbines, 3 pressure-fired boilers (600psi), 1 screw
|26||KILAUEA||30 Mar 1965||Bethlehem Quincy||10 Mar 1966||9 Aug 1967||10 Aug 1968|
|27||BUTTE||30 Mar 1965||Bethlehem Quincy||21 Jul 1966||9 Aug 1967||14 Dec 1968|
|28||SANTA BARBARA||26 Jan 1966||Bethlehem Sparrows Point||20 Dec 1966||23 Jan 1968||11 Jul 1970|
|29||MOUNT HOOD||26 Jan 1966||Bethlehem Sparrows Point||8 May 1967||17 Jul 1968||1 May 1971|
|32||FLINT||8 Mar 1968||Ingalls||4 Aug 1969||9 Nov 1970||20 Nov 1971|
|33||SHASTA||8 Mar 1968||Ingalls||10 Nov 1969||3 Apr 1971||26 Feb 1972|
|34||MOUNT BAKER||8 Mar 1968||Ingalls||5 Oct 1970||23 Oct 1971||22 Jul 1972|
|35||KISKA||8 Mar 1968||Ingalls||8 Apr 1971||11 Mar 1972||16 Dec 1972|
|26||KILAUEA||Tr||15 Sep 2008||15 Sep 2008||22 Jul 2012||Target||--|
|27||BUTTE||Tr||24 May 2004||24 May 2004||30 Jun 2006||Target||--|
|28||SANTA BARBARA||Tr||3 Aug 2005||3 Aug 2005||31 Oct 2006||Navy sale||--|
|29||MOUNT HOOD||10 Aug 1999||10 Aug 1999||29 Nov 2001||MA/T||4 Jun 2013|
|32||FLINT||Tr||8 Nov 2013||8 Nov 2013||8 May 2014||MA/T||24 Nov 2015|
|33||SHASTA||Tr||7 Apr 2011||7 Apr 2011||11 Sep 2013||MA/S||--|
|34||MOUNT BAKER||Tr||2 Aug 2010||2 Aug 2010||23 Jul 2012||MA/S||--|
|35||KISKA||Tr||13 Jan 2011||13 Jan 2011||30 May 2013||MA/S||--|
On 18 April 1963 the Ship Characteristics Board held a working meeting to review proposed preliminary characteristics and a preliminary design profile for an Ammunition Ship (AE 26), SCB Project No. 249, that was planned for Fiscal Year 1965. This followed completion of a report of feasibility and cost studies for this ship and a related design for a command ship (AGC), SCB Project 248, also in the FY 1965 program. The overall hull characteristics of the proposed AE were generally those of the C4 Mariner design with holds configured to facilitate various operational ammunition loadings. Like the Mariner the design had a 20 knot sustained speed and a single screw design with all major propulsion components in a single space. The hull measured 581' oa, 530' pp x 79' beam x 29' full load with a full load displacement of 20,500 tons. Three holds (No. 2 forward of the bridge and Nos. 4 and 5 aft of it) could be rigged either for a total of 50 TALOS, 275 TERRIER, and 230 TARTAR missiles or for other ammunition, while holds Nos. 1 and 3 carried only other ammunition. Five M-frames (three forward and two aft) were provided for underway transfers, of which the two over holds Nos. 2 and 5 were fitted with the FAST system and its associated elevators for missile transfers. A covered cargo handling area with cargo doors on the sides ran down the centerline with a truck passage through the bridge house, allowing for protected cargo handling operations and fork truck use from the flight deck on the stern to the forward cargo holds and unrep stations. The design had four twin 3"/50 gun mounts, two side by side on the bow and two on the after end of the bridge house, and a hangar and deck for CH-46 type helicopters near the stern. The ship's complement included 20 officers, 22 chief petty officers, and 328 other enlisted, and the helicopter detachment had an additional 3 officers and 14 enlisted. The design called for an AN/SPS-40 air search radar and an AN/SPS-10 surface search radar. Overall this initial AE design was very similar to that of the FY 1961 MARS class Combat Store Ship (AFS).
Approved characteristics for an Ammunition Ship (AE), now SCB Project No. 703.65, were promulgated almost a year later on 12 March 1964 and updated as SCB Project No. 703.66 on 18 December 1964 with a final change on 24 September 1968. During the intervening year the layout of the design was radically altered. The superstructure was moved well aft, the cargo handling area was extended to the sides and expanded, the bow and stern were lowered, the hull dimensions were adjusted (deleting any resemblance to the Mariner C4), and the replenishment rig was redesigned. This rig now included four pairs of replenishment stations with sliding blocks and ram tensioners, one on each side, plus two more single stations near the centerline, one facing to port and one to starboard. The ships were designed for the FAST (Fast Automated Shuttle Transfer) UNREP system but this had been cancelled in 1967 and by 1970 was being replaced by the simplified STREAM (Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method) system which omitted most of the FAST automated mechanisms. Engineering innovations included a bulbous bow for more efficient hull lines and the APS (Automated Propulsion System), essentially a central console in an air conditioned space in the engine room which gave automatic readings of the performance of the engineering plant and allowed direct control of the engines from the bridge or the engine room console. EL PASO (AKA 117) and SAN JOSE (AFS 7) were prototypes for this type of machinery plant automation.
The last two ships, AE 34-35, had shields on the after as well as the forward 3"/50 gun mounts. By 1980 AE 27 had the Mk 36 Mod 2 SRBOC (Super Rapid Blooming Offboard Countermeasures) chaff and decoy launching system and most or all of the others except KILAUEA (by then MSC) subsequently received it. The antennas for the SLQ-32 ECM system that controlled it were placed on the bridge wings. Also by 1980 AE 32-35 were scheduled to receive the Mk 16 Mod 1 CIWS Weapon Group. AE 35, probably the class prototype, got it in 1983 and the others followed in 1988-90.
|26||KILAUEA||FY 1965. Decomm and to MSC 1 Oct 1980. Towed from San Francisco 28 Mar 2008, arrived at Pearl Harbor for layup in the Pacific Reserve Fleet in Aug 2008, then stricken for use as a target. Sunk 24 July 2012 by a Mark 48 torpedo from the Australian submarine HMAS FARNCOMB.|
|27||BUTTE||FY 1965. Decomm and to MSC 3 Jun 1996. Sunk as a target 30 June 2006 off the central U.S. east coast by Harpoon missiles, a Mark 48 torpedo from USS SAN JUAN (SSN 751), and EOD explosives.|
|28||SANTA BARBARA||FY 1966. Decomm and to MSC 30 Sep 1998. Downgraded by MSC to planned disposal 3 Aug 2005 and stricken. Dismantlement at Brownsville, TX, probably completed 10 Oct 2007.|
|29||MOUNT HOOD||FY 1966. Transfer to MSC planned 1998 but cancelled. To MA custody 17 Aug 1999. Departed MA custody under domestic sale 21 Aug 2013. Placed under tow 5 September 2013 to Brownsville, Texas, to be dismantled.|
|32||FLINT||FY 1967. Decomm and to MSC 4 Aug 1995. Entered Beaumont reserve fleet and to MA custody 12 Dec 2013. Departed MA custody 8 Dec 2015 under domestic sale contract with All Star Metals LLC of Brownsville.|
|33||SHASTA||FY 1967. Decomm and to MSC 1 Oct 1997. Out of service with MSC 7 Apr 2011. Title to MA 11 Sep 2013 and then immediately to Int'l Shipbreaking for disposal.|
|34||MOUNT BAKER||FY 1968. Decomm and to MSC 18 Dec 1996. Title to MA 23 Jul 2012, ship sold as domestic sale and withdrawn from MA custody same date.|
|35||KISKA||FY 1968. Decomm and to MSC 1 Aug 1996. Title to MA at time of sale (in Navy but not MA records). Dismantlement completed 20 Nov 2013 by ESCO Marine at Brownsville, TX.|
Compiled: 22 July 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: NARA: RG 19 Item S-13 Entry P 62 Box 75 (SCB 249).