US Navy Awards Contract Modifications to Support Construction of Three New Ships

General Dynamics NASSCO will support construction of the seventh and eighth ships in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler (T-AO) program, and the sixth ship in the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program By DA Reporter / 01 Jul 2022
US Navy Awards Contract Modifications to Support Construction of Three New Ships

General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Corporation (NASSCO), a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has been awarded contract modifications to support construction of three US Navy ships.

The contract modifications are for the procurement of long-lead-time material to build the seventh and eighth ships in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler (T-AO) program, as well as the sixth ship in the Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) program.

The value of the contract is $600 million, with $500 million for T-AO 211 and 212, and $100 million for ESB 8.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027, providing the opportunity to sustain and grow the workforce along San Diego’s working waterfront. 

NASSCO’s location in San Diego Bay provides shipbuilders and skilled tradespeople with access to the nation’s leading maritime support businesses, and highly trained employees allow NASSCO to build and repair Navy ships in an efficient manner.

“NASSCO shipbuilders are honored to build T-AO 211, T-AO 212 and ESB 8,” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “The NASSCO team is excited to work with our Navy partners to ensure the success of both historic programs which are critical in supporting the Navy’s forward presence.”

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first two ships in the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) program, the USNS Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program evolved, adding the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams and the USS Miguel Keith, USNS John L. Canley and the USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), configured and renamed as ESBs. 

ESBs are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime-based missions, including Air Mine Counter Measures (AMCM), Special Operations Forces (SOF) and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile sea base, the 784-foot ship has a 52,000 square-foot flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor and H1 aircraft operations. 

Following the delivery of the first five ships to the US Navy, the sixth ship, the USNS John L. Canley, was christened on June 25 2022. The USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), the seventh ship, is currently under construction.

In 2016, the Navy awarded NASSCO with a contract to design and build the first six ships in the next generation of fleet oilers, the John Lewis-class (T-AO 205), previously known as the TAO(X). 

Designed to transfer fuel to US Navy carrier strike group ships operating at sea, the 742-feet vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, with the capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and up to a speed of 20 knots. 

The first ship, the future USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), is scheduled for delivery later this year. The future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), the future USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and the future USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208), are currently under construction.

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