NASSCO gets contract awards for new oilers, ESB

(SAN DIEGO) – General Dynamics NASSCO announced Wednesday that it was awarded $600 million in U.S. Navy contract modifications for long-lead-time material to support construction of the seventh and eighth ships in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler (T-AO) program, as well as the sixth ship in the expeditionary sea base (ESB) program.

“NASSCO shipbuilders are honored to build T-AO 211, T-AO 212 and ESB 8,” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “The NASSCO team is excited to work with our Navy partners to ensure the success of both historic programs which are critical in supporting the Navy’s forward presence.”

The contract modifications for long-lead-time material provide $500 million for T-AO 211 and 212, and $100 million for ESB 8.

USNS Miguel Keith (ESB 5). General Dynamics NASSCO photo

Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027, providing the opportunity to sustain and grow the workforce along San Diego’s working waterfront. NASSCO’s unique location in San Diego Bay provides shipbuilders and skilled tradespeople with access to leading maritime support businesses, and highly trained employees allow NASSCO to build and repair Navy ships in an efficient manner.

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created mobile landing platform (MLP) program, USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program evolved, adding USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, USS Miguel Keith, USNS John L. Canley and USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), configured and renamed as ESBs.

ESBs are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including air mine counter measures (AMCM), special operations forces (SOF) and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile sea base, the 784-foot ship has a 52,000-square-foot flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor and H1 aircraft operations.

Following the delivery of the first five ships to the U.S. Navy, the sixth ship, USNS John L. Canley, was christened on June 25. USNS Robert E. Simanek, the seventh ship, is currently under construction.

In 2016, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first six ships in the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis class (T-AO 205), previously known as the TAO(X). Designed to transfer fuel to Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the 742-foot vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, with the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, significant dry cargo, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots.

The first ship, the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), is scheduled for delivery later this year. The future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) are currently under construction.

– General Dynamics NASSCO

By Rich Miller