USNS Kanawha (T-AO-196)

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USNS Kanawha (T-AO-196) underway in January 2014.JPG
USNS Kanawha (T-AO-196)
United States
Name: USNS Kanawha
Namesake: The Kanawha River in West Virginia
Awarded: 1 February 1987
Builder: Avondale Shipyards, Inc., New Orleans, Louisiana
Laid down: 13 July 1989
Launched: 22 September 1990
In service: 6 December 1991-present
Status: In active service with U.S. Military Sealift Command
General characteristics
Class and type: Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler
Type: Fleet replenishment oiler
Tonnage: 31,200 deadweight tons
  • 9,500 tons light
  • Full load variously reported as 42,382 tons and 40,700 long tons (41,353 metric tons)
Length: 677 ft (206 m)
Beam: 97 ft 5 in (29.69 m)
Draft: 36 ft (11 m) load line
Installed power:
  • 16,000 hp (11.9 MW) per shaft
  • 34,442 hp (25.7 MW) total sustained
Propulsion: Two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, two shafts, controllable-pitch propellers
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Complement: 103 (18 civilian officers, 1 U.S. Navy officer, 64 merchant seamen, 20 U.S. Navy enlisted personnel)
Aircraft carried: None
Aviation facilities: Helicopter landing platform
  • Five refueling stations
  • Two dry cargo transfer rigs

United States Naval Ship USNS Kanawha (T-AO-196) is a Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oiler of the United States Navy in non-commissioned service in the Military Sealift Command.

USNS Kanawha, the tenth Henry J. Kaiser-class ship, was laid down by the Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 13 July 1989. She was launched on 22 September 1990 and delivered to the U.S. Navy and placed in non-commissioned service with the Military Sealift Command on 6 December 1991.

Kanawha is in active service today with the Military Sealift Command Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force and is assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.


The Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers were preceded by the shorter Cimarron-class fleet replenishment oilers. Kanawha has an overall length of 206.5 metres (677 ft 6 in). It has a beam of 29.7 metres (97 ft) and a draft of 11 metres (36 ft). The oiler has a displacement of 41,353 tonnes (40,700 long tons; 45,584 short tons) at full load. It has a capacity of 180,000 imperial barrels (29,000,000 l; 6,500,000 imp gal; 7,800,000 US gal) of aviation fuel or fuel oil. It can carry a dry load of 690 square metres (7,400 sq ft) and can refrigerate 128 pallets of food. The ship is powered by two 10 PC4.2 V 570 Colt-Pielstick diesel engines that drive two shafts; this gives a power of 25.6 megawatts (34,800 PS; 34,300 shp).[1]

The Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers have maximum speeds of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph). They were built without armaments but can be fitted with close-in weapon systems. The ship has a helicopter platform but not any maintenance facilities. It is fitted with five fuelling stations; these can fill two ships at the same time and the ship is capable of pumping 900,000 US gallons (3,400,000 l; 750,000 imp gal) of diesel or 540,000 US gallons (2,000,000 l; 450,000 imp gal) of jet fuel per hour. It has a complement of eighty-nine civilians (nineteen officers), twenty-nine spare crew, and six United States Navy crew.[1]


On November 18, 2010, USNS Kanawha “briefly came into contact” with HMCS Fredericton of the Royal Canadian Navy during a replenishment-at-sea manoeuvre off the coast of Florida.[2] There were no injuries, but both ships suffered “superficial” damage consisting of scrapes and dents on both hulls.


  1. ^ a b "Fleet Replenishment". Naval Technology. Retrieved 25 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "HMCS Fredericton slightly damaged in accident". CBC. November 19, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.