Sealift Ship To Be Christened Benavidez At Avondale Shipyard

The seventh and final Strategic Sealift ship in the Bob Hope Class was christened Benavidez in ceremonies at the Northrop Grumman Corporation Avondale shipyard on July 21, 2001.

The new ship whose namesake honors of Medal of Honor recipient Army Master Sgt. Roy P. Benavidez, of Lindenau, Tex. is a non-combatant vessel. It is a large, medium-speed, RoRo (LMSR) Sealift ship that will be crewed by civilian mariners and operated under contract to the Navy's Military Sealift Command, Washington, D.C. The LMSR ships are ideal for loading military combat and combat support equipment needed overseas and for re-supplying necessary equipment and supplies during national crisis. The ship's six-deck interior has a cargo capacity of approximately 400,000 sq. ft. and its RoRo design makes it ideal for transporting helicopters, tanks and other wheeled and tracked military vehicles. Two 110-ton single pedestal twin cranes make it possible to load and unload cargo where shoreside infrastructure is limited or non-existent.

A commercial helicopter deck enables emergency, daytime landings.

The 950-ft. (289.5 m) Sealift ships are among the largest in the Navy fleet. Longer than three football fields, Benavidez has a beam of approximately 106 ft.

(32.3 m), a draft of 35 ft. (10.6 m) and displaces 62,069 long tons. With 65,160-shaft-hp, the diesel-powered ship can cruise at speeds in excess of 24 knots with an endurance range of 13,000 n.m.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 15,  Sep 2001

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