Call For T-AKE Motherships
This from David Axe goes along with yesterday’s post on “auxiliary warships”:
Make no mistake, U.S. Navy shipbuilding is a disaster, with rampant delays, cost over-runs and poor workmanship. But the T-AKE cargo ships, built by NASSCO in San Diego, are an exception. The Navy has rewarded NASSCO by adding two more of the $500-million vessels to the original plan for a dozen — and more are possible.
Navy undersecretary Bob Work, during his think-tank days, called on the Navy to adapt the T-AKE design to a wider range of missions, beyond the traditional job of hauling supplies to deployed warships. T-AKEs could become oilers, command ships and other auxiliaries. The key is a simple, robust design, with lots of “reconfigurable” empty space, like a Lego ship.
Now the 40,000 ton T-AKE is far too large for the type of mothership design we often propose; we were thinking more along the size of a WW 2 Liberty Ship, about 10,000 tons or less, but the potential for T-AKE is very intriguing. Add to Axe’s proposal such functions as amphibious ship, aircraft carrier, arsenal ships and so on. The purpose becomes not so much what a warship can do, but what she can carry!