US Navy has christened future USNS John Lewis T-AO 205 replenishment oiler ship

According to information released by the United States Department of Defense, the U.S. Navy has christened its first-in-class John Lewis-class replenishment oiler ship, the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), on Saturday, July 17, 2021, in San Diego, California.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Future USNS John Lewis T-AO 205 replenishment oiler ship for U.S. Navy. (Picture source NASSCO)

The future USNS John Lewis is the first ship in its class and will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. The ship is named in honor of the late politician and civil rights leader. John Lewis-class oilers will be named for other prominent civil rights leaders and activists.

The John Lewis-class ships are based on commercial design standards and will recapitalize the current T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea. These ships are part of the Navy's Combat Logistics Force.

In June 2016, the Navy awarded a $3.2 billion contract to General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego for the design and construction of the first six ships of the Future Fleet Replenishment Ship, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), with construction commencing in September 2018. The Navy plans to procure 20 ships of the new class.

The new fleet oilers for the U.S. Navy are designed to transfer fuel to the Navy’s carrier strike groups operating at sea. The oilers feature the capacity to carry 162,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability, and a speed of 20 knots (37 km/h). NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks. The vessels measure 746-feet (227 m) in length with a full load displacement of 49,850 tons.

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