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Fourth US Navy TAO replenishment oiler launched despite cost concerns

31st October 2023 - 06:42 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland

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The new fleet of John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers will become an essential component of the Military Sealift Command capability set with the ability to support US Navy deployments worldwide. (GD NASSCO)

The fourth John Lewis-class (TAO-205) fleet replenishment oiler for the US Navy was launched in a ceremony at shipbuilder General Dynamics NASSCO’s San Diego facility on 28 October 2023.

The Robert F. Kennedy (TAO-208), the fourth John Lewis-class (TAO-205) fleet replenishment oiler, has been launched and will be operated by Military Sealift Command (MSC). Two of the three sister ships, USNS John Lewis (TAO-205) and USNS Harvey Milk (TAO-206) were delivered to the US Navy in July 2022 and July 2023, respectively, with the third USNS Earl Warren (TAO-207) completing a christening ceremony in January 2023.

The US Navy stated that USNS Harvey Milk ‘was conducting some maintenance work in preparation for transit to the east coast’.

Replenishment oilers are designed to transfer fuel and other supplies to US Navy

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Tim Fish

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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