First US Navy John-Lewis-class oiler launched at NASSCO

On 13 January, 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 US Navy.

Photo: US Navy

Construction of the ship began in the fall of 2018 and utilized more than 18,575 tons of steel to complete.

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The 742- foot long vessel is designed to transfer fuel to US 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.

In 2016, General Dynamics NASSCO was awarded the contract by the U.S. Navy for the detailed design and construction of the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), previously known as the TAO(X). This contract is for the construction of six ships.

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


In late 2020, NASSCO also started construction on the future USNS Earl Warren, the third vessel in the program.