The combat stores ship is a type of United States Navy ship. It has two classes, Sirius and Mars. They provide supplies, including frozen, chilled and dry provisions, and propulsion and aviation fuel to U.S. Navy combatant ships that are at sea for extended periods of time.
DescriptionSix combat stores ships operated by Military Sealift Command provide supplies, including frozen, chilled and dry provisions, and propulsion and aviation fuel to U.S. Navy combatant ships that are at sea for extended periods of time. Combat stores ships do not carry ammunition for resupply.
Combat stores ships provide underway replenishment of all types of supplies, ranging from repair parts to fresh food, clothing and mail via tensioned cargo rigs and UH-60 Seahawk helicopters or their commercial equivalents. Combat stores ships are being replaced by more capable class such as the Lewis and Clark class dry cargo ship in the US Navy.
BackgroundUSNS Concord (T-AFS-5) became the first of five Navy Mars-class ships to be transferred to Military Sealift Command on October 15, 1992. Mars followed on February 1, 1993, USNS San Diego on August 11, 1993, USNS San Jose on November 2, 1993, and USNS Niagara Falls on September 23, 1994. San Diego was deactivated on December 10, 1997, and Mars was deactivated on February 12, 1998. USNS Sirius (T-AFS-8) was transferred from the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary to MSC on January 18, 1981; USNS Spica (T-AFS-9) on November 5, 1981; and USNS Saturn (T-AFS-10) on December 13, 1983.
- Builders: National Steel and Shipbuilding Co, San Diego, Calif.
- Power Plant: 3 Babcock & Wilcox boilers, 580 psi (3.7 MPa); 8250 °F (4400 °C); 1 De Laval turbine; 22,000 hp (16.4 MW) sustained; 1 shaft
- Length: 581 feet (177.1 meters)
- Beam: 79 feet (24.1 meters)
- Displacement: 9,200 tons (9,350 metric tons) light ; 15,900–18,663 tons (16,160–18,960 metric tons) full load
- Speed: 21 knots (24 mph, 39 km/h)
- Aircraft: Two embarked MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters (normally embarked)
- Ships: No homeports assigned
- USNS Niagara Falls (T-AFS 3)
- USNS Concord (T-AFS 5)
- USNS San Jose (T-AFS 7)
- Crew: 26 Navy personnel, 118 civilians
- Armament: 4 M240G 7.62x51 mm medium machine guns or M249 5.56x45 mm light MG, and 1 M2 12.7x99 mm heavy machine gun when security detachment is embarked.
- Builder: Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Wallsend-on-Tyne, UK
- Power Plant: 1 Wallsend-Sulzer 8RD76 diesel, 11,520 hp (8.59 MW); 1 shaft
- Length: 524 feet (159.7 meters)
- Beam: 72 feet (22 meters)
- Displacement: 9,010 tons (9,150 metric tons) light ; 16,792 tons (17,061 metric tons) full load
- Speed: 19 knots (22 mph, 35 km/h)
- Aircraft: Two helicopters (normally embarked) can be UH-46E Sea Knight, MH-60S Knighthawks or their commercial equivalents (typically Aerospatiale Super Puma).
- Ships: No homeports assigned
- USNS Sirius (T-AFS 8)
- USNS Spica (T-AFS 9)
- USNS Saturn (T-AFS 10)
- Crew: 27 Navy personnel (MILDEPT), 30 Navy or 7 civilian aviation detachment, 25 Navy or Marine security detachment, 115 civilians (CIVMAR)
- Armament: 4 M240G 7.62x51 mm medium machine guns or M249 5.56x45 mm light MG, and 1 M2 12.7x99 mm heavy machine gun when security detachment is embarked. Mounts exist for two 25 mm Mk. 38 VHMG, but the guns are not typically carried.