Ability Class Minesweeper: Lead ship of the Ability Class Minesweepers; Laid down, 5 March 1956
at Peterson Builders, Inc., Sturgeon Bay, WI.; Launched 29 December 1956; Commissioned USS Ability (MSO-519), 4 August 1958
at Boston Naval Shipyard, Boston MA.; Decommissioned June 1970; Struck from the Naval Register, 1 February 1971; Final Disposition,
sold for scrapping, 3 January 1972 to Union Minerals and Alloys, New York, NY, for $17,688.
Specifications: Displacement 934 t; Length 190'; Beam 36'; Draft 12'; Speed 15 kts; Complement
5 Officers, 80 Enlisted; Armament one 40mm gun mount, two .50 cal machine guns; Propulsion, Twin shafts, each driven by one
1400 Horsepower General Motors(GM) 8-498 Turbo Charged(5700 CFM), Two Cycle Diesel, coupled via an AirFlex pneumatic clutch
to a Faulk 3:1 reduction gear driving a Farrell-Birmingham hydraulically controlled, variable pitch propeller. The hydraulic
pitch control motor was powered from the engine not the reduction gear. This arrangement allowed the air clutch a rapid decoupling
of the engine from the reduction gear while still maintaining propeller pitch control down the shaft. The shaft could be stopped
injust a few seconds this way.
Magnetic Sweep; 2350 KW Westinghouse Electric generator; equipped with heaters, as well as salt
water cooling through Admiralty Metal piping. Pulse capability of7200* amperes, duration sustained by 11 ton, nonmagnetic,
Austenitic stainless steel flywheel.-Prime Mover: I GM 8-498 Turbo Charged, Two Cycle Diesel.
Acoustic Sweep: 250 KW variable frequency generator, 0-400 ~, for Rotovac and Wapavac operation
-Prime Mover: 1 440 HP GM 8-268A
Ship' Service: 3 DELCO 100 KW 440 VAC, 60 -generators
-Prime movers: 3 ea. 153 HP GM 6-71
Fresh Water: 2000 gal/day Badger distilling plant
Hotel Steam: 125 PSI CycloTherm
These new minesweepers were smaller and built primarily of wood , with bronze and stainless (non-magnetic)
steel fittings to minimize their magnetic signature. All of the 1950 era MSOs had UQS-1 mine-locating sonar. MSOs were capable
of sweeping for moored, bottom contact, magnetic and acoustic mines.