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US Navy formally accepts the new replenishment oiler USNS John Lewis.

| 2022

According to information published by the U.S. DoD on July 29, 2022, the Navy accepted delivery of the lead ship of its new class of fleet replenishment oilers, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The new John Lewis class replenishment oiler USNS John Lewis (Picture source: U.S. DoD)

T-AO 205’s delivery follows the completion of Acceptance Trials with the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey to test the readiness and capability of the craft and to validate requirements.

The new John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide diesel fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and jet fuel for aircraft. The new T-AOs will add capacity to the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and become the cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

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.

The John Lewis-class ship can be armed with a close-in weapon system (CIWS) or SeaRAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) anti-ship missile defense system for detecting and destroying anti-ship cruise missiles.

It can be also armed with a Nixie torpedo countermeasure system to counter torpedo attacks. An advanced degaussing system (ADS) will be installed to protect the ship from modern magnetically fused sea mines. The John Lewis class can also carry crew-served weaponry to offer protection against fast-attack craft.

A replenishment oiler or replenishment tanker is a naval auxiliary ship with fuel tanks and dry cargo holds which can supply both fuel and dry stores during underway replenishment (UNREP) at sea. Many countries have used replenishment oilers.

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