General Dynamics Lays Keel for 5th John Lewis Oiler Ship

General Dynamics has laid the keel for the US Navy’s 5th John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, the USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209), in San Diego.

T-AO vessels are made to operate in near-shore environments and incorporate capabilities that address 21st-century threats.

The fleet supports maritime security, forward presence, sea control, and deterrence missions.

The USNS Lucy Stone

T-AO 209 was named after early women’s rights and anti-slavery advocate Lucy Stone. In the 19th century, she worked tirelessly against inequality in the US.

Stone was also the founder of the Women’s National Loyal League, which had a great influence on passing the country’s Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery.

“The future Lucy Stone’s keel laying is a significant milestone, and we are excited to mark the beginning of great achievements to come for this ship,” Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Program Manager John Lighthammer stated.

“The fifth John Lewis-class oiler will enhance the fleet’s ability to refuel ships at sea.”

US Navy Oiler Fleet

John Lewis-class oilers carry substantial amounts of oil and also have dry cargo capacity for other supplies and aviation capability for naval aircraft.

Each ship has a double hull and reinforced parts to prevent oil spills at sea.

USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205)
USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205). Photo: General Dynamics NASSCO

The growing fleet will be integrated into the US Navy’s Combat Logistics Force as the service’s prime fuel delivery system.

NASSCO is currently manufacturing future T-AOs alongside the Lucy Stone, including the USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208), and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210).

The US Navy contracted the firm for additional John Lewis oilers, the USNS Thurgood Marshall (T-AO 211), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (T-AO 212), and the T-AO 213, which is yet to be named.

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