The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the lead ship of its new class of fleet replenishment oilers, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), July 26. T-AO 205’s delivery follows the completion of Acceptance Trials with the U.S. Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey to test the readiness and capability of the craft and to validate requirements. The 742- foot long vessel is 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 up to a speed of 20 knots.
“USNS John Lewis will provide much needed capability to the fleet as the primary fuel pipeline at sea,” said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. “This is the first of a 20-ship class providing the Sailors and merchant mariners another tool to support at-sea operations.”
The new John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide diesel fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and jet fuel for aircraft. The new T-AOs will add capacity to the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system. PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, boats and craft
NASSCO is currently in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210) are under contract. NASSCO is the largest shipyard on the West Coast of the United States conducting design, new construction and repair of ships. In the past decade, NASSCO delivered more than 30 ocean-going ships to government and commercial customersâ€”including the world’s first LNG-powered containerships and several other lead ships.