John Lewis-class replenishment oiler

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USNS John Lewis (T-AO-205) in 2022
Class overview
NameJohn Lewis class
BuildersGeneral Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO)
Preceded byHenry J. Kaiser class
On order4
General characteristics
TypeFleet replenishment oiler
Displacement49,850 tons full load
Length746 ft (227.4 m)
Beam106 ft 5 in (32.4 m)
Draft33.5 ft (10.2 m) maximum
PropulsionTwo medium-speed Fairbanks-Morse 12V48/60CR diesel engines, two shafts, propellers
Speed20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Endurance6,147 nmi (11,384 km; 7,074 mi)
Complement125 total
Electronic warfare
& decoys
AN/SLQ-25A Nixie torpedo countermeasures
Aviation facilitiesHelicopter flight deck
  • 5 refueling stations
  • 2 dry cargo transfer rigs

The John Lewis class is a class of fleet replenishment oilers which began construction in September 2018.[1] The class will comprise twenty oilers which will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide underway replenishment of fuel and limited amounts of dry cargo to United States Navy carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups, and other surface forces, to allow them to operate worldwide.[2]


View from behind of USNS John Lewis in 2022

The John Lewis-class ships are double-hulled and constructed to commercial standards and OPNAVINST 9070.1 requirements. They are classed to American Bureau of Shipping steel vessel rules.[3] The ships have capabilities similar to the Henry J. Kaiser-class replenishment oilers and rely on existing technology.[4] The ships can carry 156,000 barrels of oil and have increased dry cargo storage over the Henry J. Kaiser class.[5]

There are stations on both sides of each ship for underway replenishment of fuel and stores, and will have two dry cargo transfer rigs. The John Lewis-class ships have self-defenses against mines and torpedoes, and are equipped with crew-served weapons which are operated by embarked Navy Expeditionary Security Teams for limited self-defense ability against small boat attack.[4]

The ships have space, weight, and power reserved for additional self-defense systems, including close-in weapon systems (CIWS) or SeaRAM, and an anti-torpedo torpedo defense system. Even with additional self-defense systems installed the ships will still require escort if operating in a higher threat environment.[4]


In June 2016, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) was awarded a design and construction contract for six John Lewis-class replenishment oilers.[6] NASSCO began construction on John Lewis in September 2018, and began construction on Harvey Milk in September 2020.[7] In January 2020 the lead ship delivery estimate was delayed from November 2020 until June 2021, due to delays in delivery of gear and flooding of a graving dock.[4]


The class is named for its lead ship, John Lewis, which is named for American politician and civil rights leader John Lewis. The remaining John Lewis-class oilers will be named after prominent civil rights leaders and activists.[4]


Ship Hull. No. Namesake Laid down Launched Status Refs
John Lewis T-AO-205 John Lewis - Congressman 13 May 2019 12 January 2021 Active, in service 27 July 2022 [6][8]
Harvey Milk T-AO-206 Harvey Milk - City Supervisor 3 September 2020 6 November 2021 Active, in service 11 July 2023 [9]
Earl Warren T-AO-207 Earl Warren - Supreme Court Chief Justice 30 April 2022 28 October 2022[10] Christened 21 January 2023 by Elena Kagan[11] [12]
Robert F. Kennedy T-AO-208 Robert F. Kennedy - Attorney General 5 December 2022 29 October 2023 Christened 29 October 2023 by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend[10] [13][14]
Lucy Stone T-AO-209 Lucy Stone - Woman's rights advocate 8 August 2023[15] Under construction [16]
Sojourner Truth T-AO-210 Sojourner Truth - Woman's rights advocate Under construction [16]
Thurgood Marshall T-AO-211 Thurgood Marshall - Supreme Court Justice On order [17]
Ruth Bader Ginsburg T-AO-212 Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Supreme Court Justice On order [18]
Harriet Tubman T-AO-213 Harriet Tubman - Civil War-era abolitionist On order [19][20]


  1. ^ "Fleet Replenishment Oilers T-AO". Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Report to Congress on Requirements for the Fleet Replenishment Oiler, T-AO(X)" (PDF). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  3. ^ Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) T-AO 205 John Lewis Class Fleet Replenishment Oiler (T-AO 205 Class). Department of Defense. p. 14.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress" (PDF). Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  5. ^ "John Lewis-Class (TAO-205) Replenishment Oiler Ships". Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  6. ^ a b "General Dynamics NASSCO Awarded Contract to Build Next Generation of U.S. Navy Fleet Oilers". 30 June 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  7. ^ "General Dynamics NASSCO Begins Construction on First Ship in the T-AO Fleet Oiler Program for U.S. Navy". 20 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Navy Accepts Delivery of USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205)". Retrieved 31 July 2022.
  9. ^ "John Lewis-class replenishment oiler USNS Harvey Milk christened". 8 November 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  10. ^ a b "Military Sealift Command christens its newest ship, USNS Robert F. Kennedy". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 30 October 2023.
  11. ^ "General Dynamics NASSCO Christens the Third Ship in the T-AO Fleet Oiler Program for the U.S. Navy" (Press release). National Steel and Shipbuilding Company. 21 January 2023. Retrieved 21 January 2023.
  12. ^ "Fairbanks Morse ships diesel engines for future USNS Earl Warren". 16 June 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  13. ^ "GD-NASSCO begins construction of USNS Robert F. Kennedy". 21 May 2021. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  14. ^ "Keel Authenticated for Future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208)". 6 December 2022. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  15. ^ "Keel Authenticated for Future USNS Lucy Stone". United States Navy. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  16. ^ a b "USNS John Lewis Conducts Builder's Trials". 9 February 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  17. ^ "SECNAV Names Future T-AO USNS Thurgood Marshall, Sponsors for USS Doris Miller". 25 February 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Navy to name ship after Ginsburg". 1 April 2022. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  19. ^ "General Dynamics NASSCO Awarded $736 Million to Build T-AO 213". 23 May 2023. Retrieved 25 May 2023.
  20. ^ "San Diego's NASSCO will build huge Navy ship to be named in honor of abolitionist Harriet Tubman". 19 September 2023. Retrieved 30 September 2023.(subscription required)