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USS San Jose (AFS 7).

USS San Jose (AFS 7).
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class: MARS (AFS 1).
Design: SCB Project Nos. 208, 705.65, and 705.66
Displacement (tons): 9,852 light, 17,381 full
Dimensions (feet): 581' oa, 530' pp x 79' e/wl x 27' max nav
Armament: 4-3"/50T; (all but 4: 1979) 2-3"/50T, (4: 1985, 2: 1990) 2-3"/50T, 2-CIWS
Accommodations: 42 officers, 445 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 21
Propulsion (HP): 22,000
Machinery: Steam turbine, 3 boilers (600psi), 1 screw

1MARS9 May 1961GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego5 May 196215 Jun 196321 Dec 1963
2SYLVANIA19 Jan 1962GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego18 Aug 196215 Aug 196311 Jul 1964
3NIAGARA FALLS1 Apr 1964GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego22 May 196526 Mar 196629 Apr 1967
4WHITE PLAINS18 Dec 1964GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego2 Oct 196523 Jul 196623 Nov 1968
5CONCORD18 Dec 1964GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego26 Mar 196617 Dec 196627 Nov 1968
6SAN DIEGO28 Dec 1965GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego11 Mar 196713 Apr 196824 May 1969
7SAN JOSE7 Jul 1967GD/Nat. Steel, San Diego8 Mar 196913 Dec 196923 Oct 1970

AFSNameTDecomm/InactStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
1MARSTr19 Feb 1998/I24 May 200415 Jul 2006Target--
2SYLVANIA26 May 1994/D5 Jan 199528 Jul 2001MA/T17 Oct 2012/D
3NIAGARA FALLSTr30 Sep 2008/I30 Sep 200814 Jul 2012Target--
4WHITE PLAINS17 Apr 1995/D24 Aug 19958 Jul 2002Target--
5CONCORDTr18 Aug 2009/I18 Aug 200917 Jul 2012Target--
6SAN DIEGOTr10 Dec 1997/I8 Sep 200314 Apr 2006Navy sale--
7SAN JOSETr27 Jan 2010/I27 Jan 20102012Navy sale--

Class Notes:
Approved characteristics for new construction stores issue ships (AKS), SCB Project No. 115, were promulgated on 22 December 1952 with a final change on 25 September 1957 and approved characteristics for a new construction store ship (AF), SCB Project No. 156, were promulgated on 28 November 1955 with a final change on 25 March 1957. These projects were superseded by the AFS, which absorbed the functions of the AF and AKS along with those of the AVS.

On 20 October 1958 the Chairman of the Ship Characteristics Board requested a feasibility and cost study in connection with a design study for a proposed combat store ship (AFS). An internal BUSHIPS memorandum dated 14 September 1959 stated that BUSHIPS had been completely unsuccessful in efforts to make a MARINER conversion meet the characteristics proposed for the AFS. A new design was therefore developed. Approved characteristics for a Combat Store Ship (AFS), SCB Project No. 208, were promulgated on 12 January 1960 and updated on 20 July 1962, for FY 1964 on 25 March 1963, as SCB Project No. 705.65 on 22 November 1963, and as SCB Project No. 705.66 on 12 Feb 1965 with a single change on 13 August 1965. The preliminary design for AFS 1 was completed on 4 March 1960 and the contract design was approved on 17 January 1961.

The contract design for the first Combat Store Ship, AFS 1, was completed on 16 January 1961. This was the second multiple-product replenishment ship designed by the Navy, the first being AOE 1. The basic concept of the AFS was that as a unit of an underway replenishment group it would have the capability of resupplying a task force at sea on a 'one stop' basis with stores, provisions, and spare parts necessary for sustained operations. The AFS carried a combined cargo load of dry and refrigerated provisions normally carried by an AF, bulk and bin and drawer GSM (General Stores Materal) and technical spares material normally carried by an AKS, and aviation bulk and bin and drawer technical spares material normally carried by an AVS. With very few exceptions commercial standards were invoked in the design and procurement of both hull and machinery components. The replenishment at sea system was similar to that on AOE 1, featuring M-frames with sliding block and constant tensioning devices for all transfer rigs. The January 1961 design made no reference to the FAST (Fast Automatic Shuttle Transfer) system, then in the early stages of development, though at least AFS 1 and AFS 2 would have received it. (See the AOE 1 class for a description and history of FAST.) The January 1961 design also included six port stations and five starboard stations on the basis of providing optimum alignment with carriers to port and smaller ships to starboard, although the sixth port station alongside the helicopter hangar was deleted before construction. (The SCB approved the departure from its specification of four stations on each side.) In the January 1961 design all cargo holds were serviced by two or three mechanically powered, reversible, vertical lifting devices which included a large elevator for aircraft engines and control surfaces, heavy duty pallet conveyors, and package conveyors. These delivered cargo at rapid rates to the main deck within an enclosed cargo deckhouse on the main deck that extended along the centerline over the five cargo holds. A clear fore and aft enclosed fork lift truck passageway through the superstructure allowed reaching any replenishment station with any type of cargo. Pre-packaged pallet loads of reefer and dry provisions were transferred to the pallet conveyors in the holds by battery operated fork lift trucks. The design had 3"/50 guns side by side on the bow and at the after end of the midships superstructure, the latter being located to permit arcs of fire parallel to the centerline and to outboard without interference from the M-frames. The designed displacement of the hull was 17,323 tons full load at a draft of 25.5', and the final full load displacement in the signed contract design (January 1961) was 16,144 tons (9,232 tons light) which made the mean draft 23.95'.

BUSHIPS on 4 June 1965 selected the single FY 1966 AKA (AKA 117) as a prototype ship for machinery plant automation. (See the AKA 113 class for details.) This program provided for bridge throttle control, centralized operation, monitoring, and alarming in the machinery space, automatic bell logging, automatic auxiliary machinery plants, and remote control of the steering machinery. By January 1966 the FY 1967 AFS (AFS 7) was also being considered as a candidate for machinery plant automation, and by May 1966 the FY 1965-66 ships (AFS 4-6) were also candidates. A major payoff of automation was decreased manning, estimated at 27 watch standers in each AFS. The automation of AFS 6 (FY 1966) was directed in October and on 4 November 1966 CNO recommended proceeding with the automation of the FY 1965 ships (AFS 4-5). In the meantime the FAST underway transfer system proved to be a maintenance nightmare and in 1970 its simplified successor, STREAM (Standard Tensioned Replenishment Alongside Method), was satisfactorily evaluated in the Mediterranean by SAN DIEGO (AFS 6).

AFS 3 and 5 lacked the shields on their forward 3" gun mounts. In addition to the armaments shown in the technical section above, AFS 2 and AFS 3 received one MK 25 Sea Sparrow MLS in 1969 (AFS 2) and 1971 (AFS 3) and landed them in 1974. In 1977 the SLQ-32 became the standard USN shipboard ECM system, warning of threat radar signals and able to trigger chaff and weapons firing. The two 3"/50 mounts on the after corners of the main deckhouse were removed in 1979 in all but AFS 4 and basic SLQ-32 antennas intended for auxiliary ships replaced them in at least AFS 4, 6, and 7. In around 1977 the class was also scheduled to receive the Mk 36 Mod 2 SRBOC (Super Rapid Blooming Off board Countermeasures) chaff and decoy launching system. AFS 6 had a temporary (probably prototype) installation by 1979, AFS 4 got the first permanent SRBOC installation in 1980, and AFS 7 followed in 1981. In 1983 the class was scheduled to receive the Mk 16 Mod 1 CIWS Weapon Group with 2 mounts on each ship. The prototype ship AFS 4 received two CIWS mounts by 1984 which she retained (losing her after 3"/50 mounts in the process), and SYLVANIA also received two mounts by 1989 although they were positioned differently.

Ship Notes:
1MARSFY 1961. To MSC 1 Feb 1993. Out of service 19 Feb 1998. Expended as torpedo target 15 Jul 2006 off Hawaii during RIMPAC 2006.
2SYLVANIAFY 1962. To MA custody 12 Sep 2000. To buyer 17 Oct 2012.
3NIAGARA FALLSFY 1964. To MSC 23 Sep 1994. Expended as target 14 Jul 2012 off Kauai during RIMPAC 2012.
4WHITE PLAINSFY 1965. Expended as target 8 Jul 2002 during RIMPAC 2002.
5CONCORDFY 1965. To MSC 15 Oct 1992. Expended as torpedo target 17 Jul 2012 off Kauai by HMCS VICTORIA during RIMPAC 2012.
6SAN DIEGOFY 1966. To MSC 11 Aug 1993. Out of service 10 Dec 1997. BU completed 4 Apr 2007 at Brownsville.
7SAN JOSEFY 1967. To MSC 2 Nov 1993. Towed from Pearl Harbor to Brownsville Dec 2012, completion of dismantlement reported 9 Oct 2013 by All Star Metals LLC.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 5 Aug 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: NARA: RG 19 Item S-11 Entry P 26 Boxes 4-5; Marvin O. Miller, Designing the U.S. Navy's Underway Replenishment System, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, Cal., 1996.