US Navy orders six fleet oilers
General Dynamics NASSCO has received a contract from the US Navy for the design and construction of six John Lewis-class (TAO-205) fleet oilers, it was announced on 30 June.
As the navy's next-generation oilers, the vessels - previously known as TAO X - will be deployed to transfer fuel to the US Navy's surface ships.
They will be able to carry 156,000 barrels of oil, including the navy's new bio fuels. They will also have aviation capability, dry cargo capacity and will reach a top speed of 20 knots.
The TAO-205 programme’s first ship was funded in the fiscal year 2016 budget, leading to immediate commencement of engineering and design work. The US Navy's fiscal year 2017 budget requests advance procurement for a second ship, with procurement expected to occur in fiscal year 2018.
Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO and Bath Iron Works, said: ‘We are pleased to be building the next generation of oilers and participating in the future design efforts of the LX(R), two very important ship programmes for the fleet. With this award, we will now proceed with engineering and design work.’
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