US Navy Secretary (SECNAV) Ray Mabus has revealed the names of the US Navy’s future John-Lewis class replenishment oiler, and an expeditionary fast transport (EPF) vessel.

The future John-Lewis class replenishment oiler (T-AO 207) will be christened as USNS Earl Warren in honour of US civil right activist, Earl Warren. He served in the military during the First World War and later became a county district attorney.

Military Sealift Command will operate the vessels, which are being developed to provide underway replenishment of fuel and stores to the US Navy ships at sea, and jet fuel for aircraft assigned to aircraft carriers.

"Construction of the replenishment oiler is expected to begin in 2019."

Construction of the replenishment oiler is expected to begin in 2019.

In addition, Mabus announced that the final EPF vessel, which was formerly known as joint high speed vessel (JHSV), will be named as Puerto Rico (T-EPF 11).

Australian shipbuilder Austal has been contracted to build the new EPF, which will measure 338ft-long with a 93.5ft waterline beam, with approximately 2,362t displacement capacity, and will be able to operate at a speed of more than 35k.

The EPFs are designed as a shallow draft, all aluminium, commercial-based catamaran to support a high-speed intra-theatre surface lift. They can be deployed in a range of missions, such as overseas contingency operations support, conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions and support special operations forces.