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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

SS Altair (AKR-291)
USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) (1983 - 2007)
USNS Altair (T-AK-291) (1981 - 1983)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Romeo - Zulu - Alpha
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
National Defense Service Medal - Southwest Asia Service Medal - Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait)

Algol Class (Roll-on/Roll-off Vehicle) Cargo Ship:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Sea-Land Finance at Rheinstahl Nordseewerke, Emden Germany
  • Launched, date unknown
  • Delivered to Sea-Land in 1973
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 1 May 1982
  • Assigned to the Military Sealift Command MSC as USNS Altair (T-AK-291)
  • Redesignated Roll-on/Roll-off Vehicle Cargo Ship (T-AKR-291), 1 November 1983
  • Converted to a "roll-on/roll-off" vehicle transport at Avondale Shipbuilding Co, Westwego, LA. in June 1984
  • USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) was one of the eight Fast Sealift Ships in the Surge Force, assigned to MSC Atlantic
  • SS Altair was returned to MARAD custody in 5-day RRF status (ROS-5), 1 October 2007, laid up in a berth at Marrero, LA
    Displacement 29,692 t.(lt) 61,987 t.(fl)
    Length 947'
    Beam 106'
    Draft 37'
    Speed 33 kts.
    Complement 43 civilian mariners
    Armament none
    two Foster-Wheeler boilers, 875 psi (61.6kg/cm2), 950°F (510°C)
    two General Electric MST-19 steam turbines
    twin propellers 120,000shp

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    Size Image Description Source
    Commercial Service
    Altair 325k SS Sea-Land Finance departing Long Beach, CA, in October 1979. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus
    USNS Altair (T-AKR-291)
    Altair 140k USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    MSC Web Site
    Altair 1548k USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) loading ground support equipment onto a floating causeway during Exercise Gallant Eagle 86, 15 July 1986.
    Department of Defense photo # DA-ST-87-01746, a US Army Signal Corps photo, by Staff Sergeant Arnold W. Kalmanson, now in the collections of Defense Imagery
    Robert Hurst
    Altair 63k USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) at anchor in the Bay of Gibraltar, 29 November 1995 Photo by Daniel Ferro
    Altair 58k USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) underway, date and location unknown. Photo by Peter Westdijk the Netherlands
    Altair 302k Port bow view of USNS Altair (T-AKR-291) moored in a standby position at Norfolk & Western Railroad Pier 7, on the Elizabeth River, Norfolk, VA., 12 April 1996.
    DVIC photo # DN-SC-97-00779 by Don S. Montgomery USN Ret., from the collections of the Defense Visual Information Center..
    Bill Gonyo
    SS Altair (AKR-291) - MARAD RRF
    Bellatrix 192k SS Altair (AKR-291) moored inboard of SS Bellatrix (AKR-288) in their layberth at Marrero, LA., 4 August 2013. Photo by Christopher Holley

    USNS Altair (T-AK-291 / T-AKR-291) / SS Altair (AKR-291)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
    US Navy Fact File - Fast Sealift Ships - T-AKR
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To The Service Force Ship Type Index Back To The Cargo Ship (AK) Photo Index Back To The Vehicle Cargo Ship / Roll-on/Roll-off Ship (AKR) Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 30 August 2013