The US Navy has taken delivery of the lead John Lewis-class replenishment oiler ship, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205).

The newly delivered vessel will be operated by the Military Sealift Command (MSC).

It will be used for delivering jet fuel for aircraft, diesel fuel, lubricating oil, small quantities of fresh and frozen provisions and potable water to US Navy vessels deployed at the sea.

The USNS John Lewis will expand the capacities of the US Navy’s Combat Logistics Force (CLF) and will become cornerstone of the fuel delivery system.

US Navy Auxiliary and Special Mission Shipbuilding Programme Office programme manager John Lighthammer said: “USNS John Lewis will provide much needed capability to the fleet as the primary fuel pipeline at sea.

“This is the first of a 20-ship class providing the sailors and merchant mariners another tool to support at-sea operations.”

The latest delivery comes around two months after the completion of T-AO 205’s acceptance trials conducted in May this year.

The acceptance trials were conducted with the US Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey to evaluate the capabilities and readiness of the vessel and to validate its requirements.

In 2016, the US Navy awarded a $640m contract to General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Corporation (NASSCO) to design and construct replenishment oilers.

The company is currently working on the production of USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), Earl Warren (T-AO 207) and Robert F Kennedy (T-AO 208).

NASSCO recently secured a $500m contract modification to construct two additional vessels, including T-AO 211 and 212 vessels, for the John Lewis-class oiler fleet.