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Report to Congress on John Lewis-class Oiler Program

The following is the July 3, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress.

From the report:

The John Lewis (TAO-205) class oiler shipbuilding program, previously known as the TAO(X) program, is a program to build a new class of 20 fleet oilers for the Navy. The primary role of Navy fleet oilers is to transfer fuel to Navy surface ships that are operating at sea, so as to extend the operating endurance of these surface ships and their embarked aircraft. The first ship in the TAO-205 program was funded in FY2016. The second was funded in FY2018.

The Navy’s proposed FY2019 budget requests the procurement of the third and fourth ships in the program. The Navy estimates the combined procurement cost of the two ships at $1,052.2 million, or an average of $526.1 million each. The two ships have received $75.1 million in prior-year advance procurement (AP) funding, and the Navy’s proposed FY2019 budget requests the remaining $977.1 million in procurement funding needed to complete the two ships’ estimated combined procurement cost. The Navy’s proposed FY2019 budget also requests $75.0 million in AP funding for TAO-205s to be procured in future fiscal years, and $15.4 million in cost-tocomplete procurement funding to cover cost growth on TAO-205s procured in prior fiscal years, bringing the total FY2019 procurement funding request for the TAO-205 program (aside from outfitting and postdelivery costs) to $1,067.6 million.

The Navy was granted authority for using a block buy contract for procuring the first six TAO205s by Section 127 of the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1356/P.L. 114-92 of November 25, 2015). On June 30, 2016, the Navy awarded a fixed-price incentive block buy contract for the first six TAO-205s to General Dynamics’ National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD/NASSCO) of San Diego, CA.

Issues for Congress for FY2019 regarding the TAO-205 program include the following:

  • whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s FY2019 procurement funding request for the program;
  • the number of oilers the Navy will require in coming years to support its operations; and
  • whether to encourage or direct the Navy to build TAO-205s with more ship self-defense equipment than currently planned by the Navy

via fas.org

  • DaSaint

    Each one coming off the ways should already be equipped with 2 Phalanx CIWS(or 1 Phalanx and 1 SeaRAM) and 2-25mm Mk38s.

  • Ser Arthur Dayne

    We need to rename this the John Kelly-class oiler program to piss of Obama bin Biden and the pro-gressives. Haha.

    • Bill

      What a thing to name a class of ships after my congressman, who has never voted a single dime for defense to my knowledge. We must have countless more deserving names.

      • Ser Arthur Dayne

        Hear, hear! There was an article a while back, a year or three ago, written on this website as an editorial-type article for the USNI magazine … I believe it was a former (higher-ranking) Navy officer who was discussing, and dismissing, the Obama administration’s new policies of naming ships and using previously-unheard-of categories of people and politicians and completely politicizing the process…. and he points out that Congressional Democrats and former Executive-branch people would be aghast at some of the names a Republican President could “inflict” on them and lists a bunch of GOP politicians and Conservative icons and it obviously would have made lots of Democrats livid, but it’s a great, great point — if YOU can pull out Gabby Giffords and John Lewis, the other side can bust out Steve Scalise & Chris Smith …. but also some perhaps less ‘popular’ guys that I won’t even name. Anyway, we need to get back to the good-old-names, Ranger ,Hornet, Yorktown, Saratoga, perhaps ensure all the States and State Capitals get (good) ships, and stop with this political nonsense. There should NEVER have been a Carl Vinson, John Stennis, Henry Jackson, Gabby Giffords, etc. etc.

  • Ed L

    Armed the USNS vessels, that harkens back to the US Naval Gun Crews on Merchant ships during the 2nd World War

    • Ctrot

      My father served in the US Navy Armed Guard in WWII.

  • proudrino

    A class of ships named after an unapologetic anti-American racist. Other ships in the class are equally named after undeserving and unfit individuals. The entire program should be renamed to better reflect American values instead of the hate-filled agenda of the left and President Obama.

    • Cato

      Sorry, but his role in the struggle for civil right was entirely American. And it required raw courage, given the folks who threatened his life and denounced him as an un-American radical.
      On the other hand, I will trade you the John Lewis for the John Stennis, a name entirely unworthy as one of our principal combatants.

  • Murray

    It would seem sensible for some of this class to be ice-strengthened to support fleet operations in Arctic/Antarctic waters should the need arise. Currently under construction for the Royal New Zealand Navy in South Korea is the replenishment tanker HMNZS Aotearoa. This ship will be ice-strengthened allowing it to deliver fuel and solid stores to support the US McMurdo Station and New Zealand’s Scott Base in Antarctica during the summer months once an icebreaker has cleared a path. In the absence of an ice-strengthened USNS replenishment ship, the USN might need to “borrow” Aotearoa to support Arctic operations during the northern summer!