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US Navy officially receives John Lewis-class replenishment oiler USNS Earl Warren.

According to information published by the US DoD on May 7, 2024, the U.S. Navy has officially taken delivery of the John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207). This milestone follows the successful completion of integrated sea trials.
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John Lewis class replenishment oiler USNS Earl Warren. (Picture source: NASCCO)

John Lewis-class ships are constructed to commercial design standards, aimed at replacing the aging T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers. General Dynamics NASSCO, the shipbuilder, is also progressing on the production of future T-AOs, including USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208), USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209), and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210).

Additionally, contracts are in place for USNS Thurgood Marshall (T-AO 211), USNS Ruth Bader Ginsburg (T-AO 212), and USNS Harriet Tubman (T-AO 213).


The Henry J. Kaiser-class oilers have a displacement of 42,000 long tons for the Patuxent, Laramie, and Rappahannock, while other ships in this class have displacements reported as either 40,700 long tons or 42,382 tons full load.

They measure 677 feet in length, with a beam of 97 feet 5 inches, and a maximum draft of 35 feet. These vessels are powered by two medium-speed Colt-Pielstick PC4-2/2 10V-570 diesel engines, providing a total of 34,442 horsepower distributed across two shafts with controllable pitch propellers, enabling speeds of up to 20 knots.

In contrast, the John Lewis-class oilers are larger, with a displacement of 49,850 tons full load. They are 746 feet long, with a beam of 106 feet 5 inches, and a maximum draft of 33.5 feet. These ships are driven by two medium-speed Fairbanks-Morse 12V48/60CR diesel engines, also reaching speeds of 20 knots. The John Lewis-class boasts an endurance of 6,147 nautical miles, underscoring its extensive operational range.

Fuel capacity in the Henry J. Kaiser-class varies: the Patuxent, Laramie, and Rappahannock can carry 159,000 barrels of fuel oil and jet fuel, while other ships in the class can carry between 178,000 and 180,000 barrels. All ships in this class have 7,400 square feet of dry cargo space and can hold eight 20-foot refrigerated containers, with room for 128 pallets. The John Lewis-class, while not specifying its fuel capacity, matches the Henry J. Kaiser-class in operational capability, further emphasized by its greater endurance.

The crew composition differs as well, with the Henry J. Kaiser-class manned by 66 to 89 civilian personnel and 7 to 24 U.S. Navy personnel, while the John Lewis-class has a total complement of 125 personnel. Both classes are equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo countermeasures system, though the John Lewis-class uses the AN/SLQ-25A variant.

Armament includes multiple .50 caliber machine guns on both classes, with the Henry J. Kaiser-class having space, weight, and power reservations for Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems. The John Lewis-class includes similar provisions but also reserves for SeaRAM, enhancing its defensive capabilities. Both classes feature helicopter landing platforms, supporting air operations.

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