Quick Links Menu.

USS Butte (AE 27) on 18 May 1983.

USS Butte (AE 27) on 18 May 1983.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

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

26KILAUEA30 Mar 1965Bethlehem Quincy10 Mar 19669 Aug 196710 Aug 1968
27BUTTE30 Mar 1965Bethlehem Quincy21 Jul 19669 Aug 196714 Dec 1968
28SANTA BARBARA26 Jan 1966Bethlehem Sparrows Point20 Dec 196623 Jan 196811 Jul 1970
29MOUNT HOOD26 Jan 1966Bethlehem Sparrows Point8 May 196717 Jul 19681 May 1971
32FLINT8 Mar 1968Ingalls4 Aug 19699 Nov 197020 Nov 1971
33SHASTA8 Mar 1968Ingalls10 Nov 19693 Apr 197126 Feb 1972
34MOUNT BAKER8 Mar 1968Ingalls5 Oct 197023 Oct 197122 Jul 1972
35KISKA8 Mar 1968Ingalls8 Apr 197111 Mar 197216 Dec 1972

AENameTInactStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
26KILAUEATr15 Sep 200815 Sep 200822 Jul 2012Target--
27BUTTETr24 May 200424 May 200430 Jun 2006Target--
28SANTA BARBARATr3 Aug 20053 Aug 200531 Oct 2006Navy sale--
29MOUNT HOOD10 Aug 199910 Aug 199929 Nov 2001MA/T4 Jun 2013
32FLINTTr8 Nov 20138 Nov 20138 May 2014MA/T24 Nov 2015
33SHASTATr7 Apr 20117 Apr 201111 Sep 2013MA/S--
34MOUNT BAKERTr2 Aug 20102 Aug 201023 Jul 2012MA/S--
35KISKATr13 Jan 201113 Jan 201130 May 2013MA/S--

Class Notes:
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.

Ship Notes:
26KILAUEAFY 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.
27BUTTEFY 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.
28SANTA BARBARAFY 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.
29MOUNT HOODFY 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.
32FLINTFY 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.
33SHASTAFY 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.
34MOUNT BAKERFY 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.
35KISKAFY 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.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 22 July 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: NARA: RG 19 Item S-13 Entry P 62 Box 75 (SCB 249).