NAVAIR

Keel laid for USNS McLean

mclean_keel.JPG

mclean_keel.JPG

Apr 8, 2010

Share | | Print View

Construction of USNS William McLean officially kicked off March 26 with a keel-laying ceremony at the General Dynamics shipyard in San Diego.

The ship is named in honor of Dr. William B. McLean, the China Lake physicist who pioneered the Sidewinder missile technology.

“This is an unbelievable day and I’m very proud,” said Don McLean, son of the ship’s namesake. “My dad was a shy guy but I think he’d be very happy about this because the Navy really meant a lot to him. He’d be especially impressed with how the Navy and civilians are working together to build this ship.”

Rear Adm. William Landay, the Navy’s program executive officer for ships, attended the ceremony with his wife, Tess, who was the honoree for the keel laying. As the honoree, Mrs. Landay performed the first weld on the McLean. Her welded initials will forever be attached to the hull. She also drove in the first wedge on the ship to symbolize the start of the building process.

“It’s difficult to express how excited and honored I am to participate in this important first milestone in the life of USNS William McLean,” Mrs. Landay said. “I’m especially thrilled to be associated with this class of ships that bears the names of our nation’s greatest explorers and trail blazers.”

The McLean, built by General Dynamics NASSCO, is one of 14 dry cargo/ammunition ships (T-AKE) for the Navy. The T-AKE ship incorporates international marine technologies and commercial ship-design features, including an integrated electric-drive propulsion system to minimize operating costs over its projected 40-year service life. The primary mission of T-AKE ships, also known as the Lewis and Clark-class, is to deliver as much as 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions to combat ships at sea.

When the McLean joins the fleet, it will be used by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command primarily to stage U.S. Marine Corps equipment abroad.

Construction of “blocks” of the McLean actually began in September. With the keel, or backbone of the ship, now in place, NASSCO will begin placing those blocks together to form the ship.

The McLean is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in March 2011.

PHOTO CUTLINES

Photo by Renee Hatcher

Don McLean, son of China Lake physicist Dr. William B. McLean, attends the keel laying ceremony for USNS William McLean at the General Dynamics shipyard in San Diego March 26.

Photo by Renee Hatcher

Tess Landay, wife of Rear Adm. William Landay, the Navy’s program executive officer for ships, performs the ceremonial first weld on USNS William McLean at the keel laying ceremony at the General Dynamics shipyard in San Diego March 26.

Photo by Renee Hatcher

Don McLean, left, and Rear Adm. William Landay, the Navy’s program executive officer for ships, join in the celebration of the events kicking off the construction of the ship named after McLean’s father, the China Lake pioneer of the Sidewinder missile technology. Karl Johnson, of General Dynamics, looks on.

NAWCWD Public Affairs
(760) 939-3511

Print ViewPrint View

Subscribe to NAWCWD Public Affairs
NAWCWD Public Affairs News

NAVAIR on Facebook NAVAIR on Twitter RSS Feed NAVAIR's YouTube Channel Image Map

Be the first to comment, Please review our Feedback Guidelines.

Feedback

Please review our Feedback Guidelines.

 Yes  No