Wichita-class replenishment oiler

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USS Wichita (AOR-1) underway in the Indian Ocean on 3 December 1985 (6419167).jpg
USS Wichita (AOR-1), 1985
Class overview
Name: Wichita class
In commission: 1969–1995
Planned: 7
Completed: 7
Retired: 7
General characteristics
Type: replenishment oiler
  • 13,533 tons empty,
  • 40,151 tons full
  • 26,618 dwt
Length: 640 ft (195 m) wl; 659 ft (201 m) oa
Beam: 96 ft (29 m)
Draft: 35 ft (10.6 m)
  • 3 × boilers, 2 × steam turbines,
  • 2 × shafts, 32,000 SHP (24 MW)
Speed: 25 knots
Complement: 34 officers, 463 men
Aircraft carried: 2 × UH-46 Sea Knight helicopters
Kalamazoo replenishing USS Nimitz and USS Josephus Daniels, in 1987.

Wichita-class replenishment oilers comprised a class of seven replenishment oilers used by the United States Navy from the late 1960s to the mid-1990s. The ships were designed for rapid underway replenishment using both connected replenishment and vertical replenishment.


The original concept for the Wichita-class was that the ships would serve the same function for the anti-submarine carrier (CVS) groups that the larger, faster Sacramento-class ships did for the attack carrier (CVA) groups. During this time the ships were commissioned naval auxiliaries with the hull classification AOR.

The ships could carry 160,000 barrels (25,438,000 litres) of fuel oil, 600 tons of munitions, 200 tons of dry stores and 100 tons of refrigerated stores. To transfer cargo, the ships were equipped with four oiling stations and two cargo handing stations on the port side and three oiling stations and two cargo handing stations on the starboard side.[1] Originally, the first six ships only had a large helicopter landing deck aft, but no hangar. Roanoke was the first ship equipped with a large double hangar for two UH-46 Sea Knight helicopters. The hangar was later retrofitted to the other ships.

With the addition of the hangar, the ships lost the originally fitted 3"/50 caliber gun twin mounts that were located abaft the stack. In the 1980s, a Mk 29 launcher for the NATO Sea Sparrow was fitted atop the hangar, and two Phalanx CIWS were added.[2]

General Dynamics, Quincy originally encountered problems during the construction, before the production was rationalised. Wichita took 24 months from keel laying to launch, Milwaukee 21 month, and Kansas City only 14 months.[3]

With the reduction in the U.S. Navy fleet, these ships were all decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register (NVR) in the 1990s.

Ships in class[edit]

Traditionally Navy oilers have been named for rivers; the Wichita class were named for city/river pairs with Native American names.

Ship Hull No. Builder Home Port Commissioned–
Fate NVR page
Wichita AOR-1 General Dynamics, Quincy Oakland 1969–1993 scrapped, 2013 AOR-1
Milwaukee AOR-2 General Dynamics, Quincy Norfolk 1969–1994 scrapped, 2009 AOR-2
Kansas City AOR-3 General Dynamics, Quincy Oakland 1970–1994 scrapped, 2014 AOR-3
Savannah AOR-4 General Dynamics, Quincy Norfolk 1970–1995 scrapped, 2009 AOR-4
Wabash AOR-5 General Dynamics, Quincy Long Beach 1971–1994 scrapped, 2013 AOR-5
Kalamazoo AOR-6 General Dynamics, Quincy Norfolk 1973–1996 scrapped, 2009 AOR-6
Roanoke AOR-7 National Steel Long Beach 1976–1995 scrapped, 2013 AOR-7


  1. ^ GlobalSecurity.org: AOR-1 Wichita
  2. ^ FAS Military Analysis Network: AOR-1 Wichita
  3. ^ Terzibaschitsch, Stefan (1997). Seemacht USA [Sea Power USA] (in German). Germany: Bechtermünz Verlag, Augsburg. ISBN 3-86047-576-2. , p. 464-651

External links[edit]