Watson-class vehicle cargo ship

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Watson (T-AKR-310).jpg
USNS Watson (T-AKR-310), the lead ship of the class.
Class overview
Builders: National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
Built: 1996–2002
In commission: 1998–
Completed: 8
General characteristics
Displacement: 62,970 tons full
Length: 951.4 ft (290.0 m)
Beam: 106 ft (32 m)
Draft: 34.1 ft (10.4 m) maximum
Propulsion: Gas turbine
Speed: 24 knots
Capacity: 393,000 sq ft
Crew: 26 civilian crew (up to 45); up to 50 active duty
Aviation facilities: helicopter landing area

The Watson class vehicle cargo ship is a class of vehicle cargo ships, used by the United States for prepositioning of ground vehicles. The class comprises eight of Military Sealift Command's nineteen Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships and is one part of the 33 ships involved in the Prepositioning Program.

The lead ship of this class is USNS Watson (T-AKR-310). The class, as with the lead ship, was named for Private George Watson, a Medal of Honor Recipient.

The lead ship of the class was laid down on 23 May 1996, launched on 26 July 1997, and put into service in the Pacific Ocean on 23 June 1998. The most recent ship of the class is the USNS Soderman (T-AKR-317), laid down on 31 October 2000, launched on 26 April 2002, and put into service in the Pacific Ocean on 24 September 2002.

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