USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205), the U.S. Navy’s lead ship of its new class of fleet replenishment oilers, conducted Acceptance Trials, April 25.
Acceptance Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the Navy and the shipbuilder, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to delivery to the U.S. Navy.
«The John Lewis-class oilers will add capacity to the U.S. Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system at sea», said John Lighthammer, program manager, Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Office. «We are excited to welcome the USNS John Lewis to the fleet».
The John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and fuel for the embarked aircraft.
The oilers feature the capacity to carry barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h. NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks.
NASSCO is currently in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO-207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO-208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO-209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO-210) are under contract. NASSCO is also currently in production of two Expeditionary Sea Bases (ESB) – the future USS John L. Canley (ESB-6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB-7).
As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.