Navy Orders Long-Lead Materials for Two Fleet Oilers, One Expeditionary Sea Base

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General Dynamics NASSCO has been awarded two contracts for long-lead materials for two fleet replenishment oilers and one expeditionary sea base ship. GENERAL DYNAMICS NASSCO

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Navy has awarded two contracts totaling $600 million for long-lead materials for three ships to be built by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego. The materials will be used to build two fleet replenishment oilers and one expeditionary sea base ship.

The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. a $500 million contract modification for long-lead-time material in support of the seventh and eighth John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oilers T-AO 211 and 212, according to a June 28 Defense Department contract announcement. The company also was awarded a $100 million contract modification for long-lead-time material in support of Lewis B. Buller-class expeditionary sea base (ESB) 8, the sixth ship of the class.

The Lewis B. Puller class ESB is a development of the Montford Point-class mobile landing platform ship. The 784-foot-long ESB is equipped with a 52,000 square-foot flight deck that can handle H-1, H-53 and H-53 helicopters and V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft. The ship is a capable platform to support mine-countermeasures missions, special operations forces, patrol boat support and unmanned systems.

Three ESBs are serving in the fleet — USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) and the USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5) — and two more, the future USNS John L. Canley and USNS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), are under construction.

NASSCO is scheduled to deliver later this year the lead ship of the new 742-foot-long, 49,850-ton fleet oiler class, the John Lewis (T-AO 205). Three more are under construction — 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) — and two more are under contract. The oilers each will have a fuel capacity of 157,000 barrels of oil as well as other dry stores to replenish ships at sea.

“NASSCO shipbuilders are honored to build T-AO 211, T-AO 212 and ESB 8,” Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO, said in a release. “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.”

NASSCO said the construction of the three ships is planned for third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027. The company sees the contracts as helpful in sustaining and growing its workforce.

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