Maersk in navy gig.
The contract is worth an initial $8.6m for the fixture of the 5,664-dwt Samho Moonstone (built 2009), the US military confirmed.
TradeWinds understands that the contract includes one 30-day option which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value to $9.5m.
The ship is currently South Korean-flagged, but will be re-named and US-flagged upon delivery to the US government.
The ship"s primary mission will be to move petroleum cargoes for the US Department of Defense between ports in the Far East.
Work is expected to start in May 2010 and is expected to be completed within 270 days or, if all options are exercised, within 300 days.
Maersk Line is understood to have beaten off ten other competitors for the contract which was awarded by the US Military Sealift Command.