USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8)

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Sirius (T-AFS-8) en route to Norfolk, VA. after her AFS conversion, 1983.
Career (UK) Royal Fleet Auxiliary Ensign
Name: RFA Lyness (A339)
Namesake: Lyness, Scotland
Builder: Swan, Hunter and Wingham
Laid down: 1 April 1965
Launched: 1 April 1966
Fate: Purchased by US, 1 January 1981
Career (USA)
Name: USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8)
Namesake: Sirius
Acquired: 1 January 1981
In service: 18 January 1981
Out of service: 1 July 2005
Struck: 1 July 2005
Career Flag of Texas
Name: TS Texas Clipper III
Namesake: Texas Clipper
Acquired: 2005
General characteristics
Displacement: 16,680 t. (full load)
10,205 t. (light)
Length: 523 ft (159 m) (overall)
Beam: 72 ft (22 m)
Draft: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Propulsion: one diesel engine,
11,520 brake horsepower (8.6 MW),
single propeller
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 123 Civilian, 30-47 Navy (USN service)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Raytheon SHF navigation radar
Armament: 8 pintle mounts, variable numbers of .50 BMG or 7.62x51mm machine guns (USN service)
Aircraft carried: Two CH-46 Sea Knight, MH-60 Seahawk or Aerospatiale Super Puma helicopters (USN service)

USNS Sirius (T-AFS 8) was a Sirius-class combat stores ship of the United States Navy, named for Sirius Can. Maj.), the brightest visible star.

Sirius was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson for the Royal Navy. Laid down in 1965, she was launched in 1966 from Wallsend as RFA Lyness (A339). She was transferred from the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary to the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command in 1981.

Sirius was deactivated and struck from the Naval Vessel Register in 2005 and given to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD), then assigned to Texas Maritime Academy under an agreement that it can be activated by MARAD at any time. During the fall of 2005, the Sirius served in New Orleans for Katrina relief, from September 10 until November 29 and at Lake Charles, LA for Rita relief until March 2. Because of its extended relief effort the Sirius was unable to undergo a refit in 2006 to adapt its new role as a training vessel and comply with U.S. Coast Guard safety standards. Because the Sirius had not undergone a refit, it could not be formally commissioned as the USTS Texas Clipper III nor could it be used for summer training cruises. In the winter of 2009 the US Coast Guard ruled that the Sirius was unfit for training and was prepared for decommissioning while the school looked for a new training ship. On June 25, 2009, the Sirius was returned to the U.S. Maritime Administration.[1]

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