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US Navy officially receives Lewis class oiler USNS Harvey Milk.


| 2023

According to information published by the US DoD on July 13, 2023, the US Navy has officially taken delivery of the fleet replenishment oiler, USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), from General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Lewis class replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk during her christening ceremony. (Picture source: US DoD)


This follows successful acceptance trials overseen by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey to validate the ship's readiness and capability. This addition is expected to significantly boost the Navy’s capacity and capability to establish a sea-based fuel pipeline.

The Military Sealift Command will operate the T-AO 206. This vessel can provide diesel fuel, lubricating oil, jet fuel, small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, dry stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea. She adds underway replenishment capacity to the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force and is set to be a cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

USNS Harvey Milk's specifications include a displacement of 49,850 tons when fully loaded. The oiler measures 746 ft (227.4 m) in length, has a beam of 106 ft 5 in (32.4 m), and a maximum draft of 33.5 ft (10.2 m). She is powered by two medium-speed Fairbanks-Morse MAN 12V48/60CR diesel engines, with an attainable speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).

The ship's endurance stands at 6,147 nmi (11,384 km; 7,074 mi), and it carries a complement of 125 personnel. For electronic warfare and countermeasures, she is equipped with AN/SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo decoys.

The armament comprises multiple .50 caliber machine guns, and the ship holds reservations for additional systems like the Phalanx close-in weapons or SeaRAM.

General Dynamics NASSCO, the shipbuilder, is currently constructing several other vessels, including USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208), USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209), and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210). Future USNS Thurgood Marshall (T-AO 211), USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg (T-AO 212), and the yet-to-be-named T-AO 213 are also under contract.


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