First ship of John Lewis-class replenishment oiler conducts acceptance trials

According to information published by the U.S. Navy on May 2, 2022, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), the Navy’s lead ship of its new class of fleet replenishment oilers, conducted Acceptance Trials.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Replenishment oiler USNS John Lewis (Picture source: General Dynamics)

Acceptance Trials consist of a series of in-port and at-sea demonstrations that allow the Navy and the shipbuilder, General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), to assess the ship’s systems and readiness prior to delivery to the Navy.

The John Lewis-class T-AOs will be operated by Military Sealift Command to provide fuel and lubricating oil, and small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions, stores, and potable water to Navy ships at sea, and fuel for the embarked aircraft.

The oilers feature the capacity to carry barrels of oil, a significant dry cargo capacity, aviation capability and a speed of 20 knots. NASSCO designed the new vessels with double hulls to protect against oil spills and strengthened cargo and ballast tanks.

NASSCO is currently in production on USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208). The future USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209) and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210) are under contract. NASSCO is also currently in production of two Expeditionary Sea Bases (ESB) – the future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7).

As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, special mission and support ships, and boats and craft.

The class will have a length of 746 ft (227.4 m), a beam of 106 ft 5 in (32.4 m) and a draft of 33.5 ft (10.2 m). She will reach a top speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).

The John Lewis-class ship can be armed with a close-in weapon system (CIWS) or SeaRAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) anti-ship missile defense system for detecting and destroying anti-ship cruise missiles.

It can be also armed with a Nixie torpedo countermeasure system to counter torpedo attacks. An advanced degaussing system (ADS) will be installed to protect the ship from modern magnetically fused sea mines. The John Lewis-class can also carry crew-served weaponry to offer protection against fast-attack craft.

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