NASSCO to build additional US Navy ships under $1.4 billion deal

General Dynamics NASSCO, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has received $1.4 billion in US Navy contract modifications for the construction of a sixth expeditionary sea base ship (ESB 8) and two additional John Lewis-class fleet oilers (T-AO 211 and 212).

As informed, this award comes in addition to $600 million already received to procure long-lead time materials for the same ships. The value of the current contract is $1.4 billion.

The contract modification also involves an option for the navy to procure an additional oiler, T-AO 213, bringing the total potential value to $2.7 billion for the four ships.

Construction of the four ships is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027.

“NASSCO is committed to working together with the Navy to deliver these much needed ships to the fleet,” said Dave Carver, President of General Dynamics NASSCO.

In 2016, the US 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.

Designed to transfer fuel to US Navy ships operating at sea, the 226-meter long vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil and significant amounts of dry cargo, as well as providing aviation capability while traveling at speeds up to 20 knots.

The first ship, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), was delivered to the US Navy in July 2022.

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The USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) are currently under construction.

Meanwhile, in 2011, the US Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the newly created ,obile landing platform program, USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn.

The program evolved, adding USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), the future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), configured as ESBs.

ESB ships are platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including air mine counter measures, special operations forces, and limited crisis response.

Acting as a mobile sea base, this 239-meter long ship has a 4830 square-meter flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations.

The future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7) are currently under construction.