Watson-class vehicle cargo ship

The Watson-class vehicle cargo ship is a series 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.

USNS Watson, the lead ship of the class.
Class overview
Name: Watson
Builders: National Steel and Shipbuilding Company
Built: 19962002
In commission: 1998
Completed: 8
General characteristics
Type: Vehicle cargo ship
Displacement: 62,970 tons full
Length: 951.4 ft (290.0 m)
Beam: 106 ft (32.3 m)
Draft: 34.1 ft (10.4 m) maximum
Propulsion: Gas turbine
Speed: 24 knots (44 km/h)
Capacity: 393,000 sq ft (36,511 m2)
Crew: 26 civilian crew (up to 45); up to 50 active duty
Aviation facilities: helicopter landing area

The lead ship of this class is USNS Watson. The class, as with the lead ship, was named for Private George Watson, a Medal of Honor Recipient.[1]

Watson was laid down on 23 May 1996, launched on 26 July 1997, and put into service in the Pacific Ocean on 23 June 1998.[2] The most recent ship of the class is USNS Soderman, laid down on 31 October 2000, launched on 26 April 2002, and put into service in the Pacific Ocean on 24 September 2002.



  1. "USNS Watson (T-AKR 310)". www.navysite.de. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
  2. "MSC takes delivery of USNS Watson". Retrieved 3 June 2019.

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