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SS Flickertail State

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SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5)
United States
NameCV Export Lightning (MA-206)
OwnerUnited States Maritime Administration
OperatorAmerican Export Isbrandtsen Line
Ordered30 November 1965
BuilderBath Iron Works
Laid down14 February 1967
Launched11 May 1968
In service21 February 1969 to 1986
FateAcquired by the United States Navy in 1986
United States
NameSS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5)
NamesakeThe state of North Dakota, which is also known as the Flickertail State.
In service9 February 1988 to the present
HomeportNewport News, VA
NotesFive days required to activate for service.
General characteristics
Class and typeGopher State-class crane ship
Displacement31,500 long tons
Length668 ft 7 in
Beam76 ft 1 in
Draft33 ft 6 in
PropulsionSingle propeller
Speed17 knots

SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5) is a crane ship in ready reserve for the United States Navy. She is stationed at Newport News, Virginia and is in ready reserve under the Military Sealift Command (MSC). The ship was named for the state of North Dakota, which is also known as the Flickertail State.



Flickertail State was laid down on 14 February 1967, as the container ship CV Lightning, ON 518063, IMO 6817845, a Maritime Administration type (C5-S-73b) hull under MARAD contract (MA 206). Built by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, hull no. 355, she was launched on 11 May 1968, and delivered to MARAD 21 February 1969, entering service for American Export-Isbrandtsen Lines. She was sold to Farrell Lines in 1978 without name change. The ship was returned to MARAD in 1986 and laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). In 1987-1988 she was converted to a type (C5-S-MA73c) Crane Ship by Norfolk Shipbuilding & Drydock, Norfolk, Virginia. Completed on 8 February 1988, she was placed in service as SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5) and assigned to the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), under operation control of the Military Sealift Command (MSC).[1][2]

Flickertail State was assigned to Maritime Prepositioning Ship Squadron Three and was maintained in a four-day readiness status. Flickertail State has been in ready reserve at Newport News, Virginia since 1993.

Large vessel lift on/lift off


In 2009, a demonstrator crane was installed and integrated aboard the SS Flickertail State to evaluate the crane's performance in transporting containers between two moving ships in an operational environment using commercial and oil industry at-sea mooring techniques, at sea in the Gulf of Mexico.[3] Developed by the Sea Warfare and Weapons Department in the Office of Naval Research along with Oceaneering International, the LVI Lo/Lo crane has sensors and cameras as well as motion-sensing algorithms that let it automatically shift with the rolling and pitching of the sea, making it much easier for operators to center the crane over cargo and transfer it.[4][5]

See also





  1. ^ Polmar 2005 p. 308
  2. ^ Silverstone 2011 p. 237
  3. ^ Anastasio, Rob (2010-06-02). "Revolutionary Crane Technology Is in Navy's Future". Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2013-11-02.
  4. ^ Hornyak, Tim (2010-06-03). "Wobble-proof Navy crane can offload cargo at sea | Crave - CNET". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  5. ^ "Navy LVI Lo-Lo Crane Safely Transfers Cargo At Sea". HighTech EDGE. Archived from the original on 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2011-09-21.





Media related to IMO 6817845 at Wikimedia Commons