General Dynamics NASSCO Launches U.S. Navy’s First John Lewis-class Fleet Oiler, Future USNS John Lewis

General Dynamics NASSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (GD), successfully launched the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), the first vessel in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program designed to support the U.S. Navy, on Jan. 12.

The construction of the future USNS John Lewis started on Sept. 20, 2018, and the keel of the vessel was laid on May 13, 2019. With John Lewis (T-AO 205) now in the water, production efforts will focus on final outfitting in support of Christening in the spring, and sea trials and delivery in late 2021.

John Lewis-class is the U.S. Navy’s newest class of underway replenishment oilers being built by General Dynamics NASSCO. The vessels of the class are named after prominent civil rights activists and leaders.

John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187 Henry J. Kaiser-class fleet replenishment oilers. These ships are part of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC).

Designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers will feature the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots.

The John Lewis class will be equipped with a basic self-defense capability, including crew-served weapons, degaussing, and Nixie Torpedo decoys, and has space, weight, and power reservations for Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) such as SeaRAMs, and an Anti-Torpedo Torpedo Defense System (ATTDS).

NASSCO has an additional four fleet replenishment oilers on contract. The Navy’s program of record calls for the eventual procurement of 20 fleet replenishment oilers to replace the aging T-AO 187 class.

GD-NASSCO is also in production on the second ship of the class, the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), which started construction in August, with delivery planned in 2022, and the third, the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), which started construction in December 2020, with delivery planned in 2023.



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