NASSCO launches first John Lewis-class oiler for US Navy


(SAN DIEGO) — On Tuesday, General Dynamics NASSCO launched the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), the first of six vessels in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program designed to support the U.S. Navy.

Construction of USNS John Lewis began in the fall of 2018 and utilized more than 18, 575 tons of steel. The 742-foot vessel is designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea. The oilers will have the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of up to 20 knots.

“NASSCO is immensely honored to be a part of this historic day launching the future John Lewis,” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “This ship reaffirms our nation’s stability and represents the same strength, values and honor that her namesake, the Honorable John Lewis, stood for. The shipbuilders of NASSCO are proud to ensure his legacy will live on in this majestic vessel.”

Adding to the momentum of the fleet’s success, NASSCO started construction on the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), the third vessel in the program, late last year. The keel was laid for the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206) in September.

In 2016, NASSCO was awarded the contract by the Navy for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis class, previously known as the TAO(X). This contract is for the construction of six ships.

The christening of USNS John Lewis will be celebrated later in 2021 with the ship’s sponsor following tradition by breaking a champagne bottle on the hull.

– General Dynamics NASSCO

General Dynamics NASSCO photo
By Professional Mariner Staff