General Dynamics NASSCO, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, has been awarded a contract modification worth $736 million to build the ninth ship, T-AO 213, in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program. 

With this additional option exercised, the total contract value now stands at approximately $5.5 billion for constructing nine ships. 

“NASSCO is proud of our ongoing dedication to deliver these ships to the fleet,” said Dave Carver, President of General Dynamics NASSCO. “We are committed to working with our Navy partners to ensure the continued success of the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program.”

The construction of T-AO 213 is slated to commence in the third quarter of 2025, further strengthening the US Navy’s operational capabilities. The John Lewis-class fleet oilers, also known as T-AO 205 vessels, are designed to facilitate fuel transfer to US Navy carrier strike group ships during their operations at sea. 

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According to GlobalData’s report on “The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023-2033“, General Dynamics is the third leading supplier of naval vessels and surface combatants in North America; it is set to hold a 5.6% share of the North American market over 2023–33.

With a length of 742 feet and a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, these vessels boast a significant capacity of 157,000 barrels of oil. Moreover, they offer ample dry cargo storage and aviation capabilities and can achieve up to 20 knots.

General Dynamics NASSCO secured the original contract in 2016, encompassing the design and construction of six initial ships in the John Lewis-class fleet oiler program.

General Dynamics are involved in major US defence platforms acquisitions, such as the Virgina-class, Columbia-class submarines, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer.

The first ship, the USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), was successfully delivered to the Navy last year. Presently, construction is underway for the future USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208), USNS Lucy Stone (T-AO 209), and USNS Sojourner Truth (T-AO 210).

In General Dynamic first-quarter 2023 financial results, the company reported net earnings of $730m on revenue of $9.9bn.