John Lewis

On January 12, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (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.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205)
General Dynamics NASSCO Launches First Ship in the T-AO Fleet Oiler Program for the U.S. Navy

Construction of the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205) began in the fall of 2018 and utilized more than 18,575 tons of steel to complete. The 745.7-foot-long/227.3-meter-long vessel is designed to transfer fuel to U.S. Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the oilers will feature the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels/24,961,005 liters of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h.

«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.

In 2016, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company 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 (T-AO 205), will be celebrated later in 2021 with the ship’s sponsor following tradition of breaking a champagne bottle on the ship’s hull.


General Characteristics

Builder NASSCO
Propulsion Twin shaft, geared medium speed diesels with Power Take-Off (PTO) generators/Power Take In (PTI)
Length 227.3 meters/745.7 feet
Beam 32.2 meters/105.6 feet
Displacement 22,173 metric tons/24,442 short tons (lightship)
Speed 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h
Crew 99 civilian mariners (CIVMARS)
Load Dry Stores Capacity: 1,576 m3/55,656 feet3
Freeze/Chill Capacity: 1,362 m3/48,099 feet3
Aircraft None (landing platform for vertical replenishment can accommodate H-1 Iroquois, H-53 Sea Stallion, H-60 Black Hawk, MV-22 Osprey, and Military Support Centers’ (MSC’s) commercial logistics helicopters)



T-AO-205 John Lewis – (under construction)

T-AO-206 Harvey Milk – (named)

T-AO 207 Earl Warren – (named)

T-AO 208 Robert F. Kennedy – (named)

T-AO 209 Lucy Stone – (named)

T-AO 210 Sojouner Truth – (named)

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