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The first dedicated US sigint-gathering ship, the USS Oxford, is authorised

USS Oxford

The first US intelligence gathering ship, a converted Liberty Ship, was approved in November 1959. Liberty Ships were mass-produced wartime cargo vessels. None of the vessels used by the US for sigint purposes during the Cold War were purpose built. By the early 1960s, GCHQ was planning a fleet of three specially-designed sigint ships that were to be atomic powered, allowing them to cruise for a year at a time without refueling.