US Navy Lays Keel of Sixth John Lewis Oiler Ship

The US Navy has laid the keel of the sixth John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler at a General Dynamics NASSCO facility in San Diego.

The USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210) is named after an American abolitionist and women’s rights activist who escaped slavery in New York during the early 1800s.

During the ceremony, the service and contractor joined sections of the ship.

Civil rights activist and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund Marian Wright Edelman served as the ship’s sponsor. Her name was embedded into the keel plate that will sail with the vessel throughout its service life.

“The future USNS Sojourner Truth will aid in expanding refueling capability at sea,” US Navy Auxiliary and Special Mission Ships Program Manager John Lighthammer stated during the event.

“This ship honors the legacy of a woman of great character and determination and the ship will bring the critical capacity needed to the fleet in often rapidly changing environments.”

The John Lewis Replenishment Fleet

The John Lewis oilers are designed for refueling missions and limited dry goods distribution in near-shore environments.

They are deployed under the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command, which supports international carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups, and other surface-based units.

USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207) during a testing event. The Navy accepted delivery of T-AO 207, May 7, following successful completion of Integrated Sea Trials.
USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207) replenishment oiler ship. Photo: US Navy

Each John Lewis vessel measures 746 feet (230 meters) and has a double hull and reinforced components to prevent oil spills.

The craft can transport up to 156,000 barrels of fuel and accommodate approximately 125 personnel on board.

It is powered by two Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines for speeds of 20 knots (23 miles/37 kilometers per hour) and an endurance of up to 6,147 nautical miles (7,074 miles/11,384 kilometers).

The fleet is armed with torpedo countermeasures, automated naval guns, rolling airframe missiles, and multiple machine guns.

Latest Progress

The US Department of Defense received the third John Lewis ship from General Dynamics NASSCO in May.

Meanwhile, the keel of the fifth vessel under the class was laid in San Diego last year.

In 2022, the Pentagon awarded NASSCO a $1.4-billion contract to deliver three T-AO units in addition to the six initially planned oilers under the program.

Related Articles

Back to top button