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USS Supply (AOE 6) on 14 December 1993 on sea trials.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.
Class: SUPPLY (AOE 6)
Design: Top level requirements of 25 October 1984
Displacement (tons): 20,840 light, 48,603 full
Dimensions (feet): 754' oa, 730' wl x 107' e/wl x 38' max nav
Armament: 1-MK29 MLS, 2-25mmS, 2-CIWS
Accommodations: Accommodations for 51 officers and 125 enlisted
Speed (kts.): 25
Propulsion (HP): 100,000
Machinery: 4 gas turbines (GE LM 2500), 2 screws
|6||SUPPLY||22 Jan 1987||Nat. Steel, San Diego||24 Feb 1989||6 Oct 1990||26 Feb 1994|
|7||RAINIER||3 Nov 1988||Nat. Steel, San Diego||31 May 1990||28 Sep 1991||21 Jan 1995|
|8||ARCTIC||6 Dec 1989||Nat. Steel, San Diego||2 Dec 1991||30 Oct 1993||11 Sep 1995|
|10||BRIDGE||15 Jan 1993||Nat. Steel, San Diego||2 Aug 1994||24 Aug 1996||5 Aug 1998|
|6||SUPPLY||Tr||In service 2021||--||--||--||--|
|7||RAINIER||Tr||30 Sep 2016||--||--||--||--|
|8||ARCTIC||Tr||In service 2021||--||--||--||--|
|10||BRIDGE||Tr||30 Sep 2014||--||--||--||--|
President Ronald Reagan upon taking office in January 1981 advocated a strengthened defense policy against the Soviet Union, and his Secretary of the Navy, John F. Lehman, Jr., responded with a plan for a 600-ship navy. By December 1982 Lehman had obtained congressional approval to build more than 100 additional ships, which when added to the 479 afloat would come close to the 600-ship goal. Included in the plan was a replacement program for auxiliaries and mobile logistic support ships that contained long-term provisions to build a new class of oilers and a new AOE. Top level requirements for the AOE-6 Combat Support Ship were promulgated on 25 October 1984 with a single change on 14 July 1986.The AOE 6 design was based on the AOE 1 (SACRAMENTO) design, the main difference being that the newer ships are propelled by gas turbines instead of a steam plant and have two low funnels aft instead of one taller one. The cargo capacities (fuel, munitions, provisions, and dry stores) of the two classes are almost identical although the newer ships have slightly smaller hull dimensions. The first three new ships suffered major construction delays, caused mainly by late delivery of reduction gears for their gas turbine plants. This contributed to a 30% increase in building costs between the original estimates and 1991. The Navy did not exercise its contract option for the fourth ship, CONECUH (AOE 9), because of the increased costs and a cutback in carrier battle groups, and the money was reauthorized to pay for shipbuilding cost overruns. The ship was however reauthorized in FY 1993 as AOE 10. Three of the ships (AOE 6, 8, and 10) were named for pre-World War II store ships (AF), while AOE 7 was named for an early World War II ammunition ship (AE). The four ships passed to MSC for manning between 2001 and 2004 and landed their weapons systems. By 2021 the T-AOE 6 class ships were categorized as Combat Logistics Ships along with the T-AO 187 class for fuel and the later T-AKE 1 class for dry stores and ammunition. Other auxiliaries were categorized as Fleet Support ships.
The Navy informed the press at the end of April 2013 that its Fiscal Year 2014 budget called for the decommissioning two of MSC's youngest replenishment ships, BRIDGE (T-AOE 10) and RAINIER (T-AOE 7), to save $251 million. The move was based on the 2012 Navy Force Structure Assessment which reduced the number of fleet oilers from 19 to 17, leaving two SUPPLY-class T-AOE's and 15 HENRY J KAISER-class T-AO's. BRIDGE was scheduled to decommission in 2014 and RAINIER in 2015. The decision to decommission the two SUPPLY-class ships was based on the higher operations and support costs for the class, $32 million more than two KAISER class ships. The alternative was to cut three smaller logistics ships.
|6||SUPPLY||FY 1987. Delivered 31 Jan 1994. Decomm and in service with MSC 13 Jul 2001.|
|7||RAINIER||FY 1989. Name PAUL HAMILTON assigned 9 May 1989. Name changed from PAUL HAMILTON to RAINIER 3 Jul 1990 with the name PAUL HAMILTON being reassigned simultaneously to DDG 60. Delivered 25 Aug 1994, ICS (In Commission, Special) 1 Dec 1994. Decomm and in service with MSC 29 Aug 2003. Out of service 30 Sep 2016 and to reserve at Bremerton. In inactive status 2021.|
|8||ARCTIC||FY 1990. ICS (or delivered) 11 May 1995. Decomm and in service with MSC 14 Jun 2002.|
|9||CONECUH||FY 1992. Name CONECUH assigned 23 Jun 1992. Rescinded from FY 1992 by administration and funds used to pay for cost overruns including in the first three AOEs.|
|10||BRIDGE||FY 1993. Delivered 31 Mar 1998, ICS 21 Apr 1998. Decomm and in service with MSC 24 Jun 2004 (ceremony). Out of service 30 Sep 2014 and to reserve at Bremerton. In inactive status 2021.|
Compiled: 24 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021