General Dynamics NASSCO
The USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3) Expeditionary Sea Base ship, commissioned in 2017.

General Dynamics Draws $1.4B USN Contract

Aug. 10, 2022
The U.S. Navy awarded funds for the General Dynamics NASSCO subsidiary to build a new Expeditionary Sea Base ship for large-scale logistics and up to three fleet-replenishment oiler vessels.

General Dynamics has drawn a $1.4-billion U.S. Navy contract to build a new Expeditionary Sea Base ship (ESB 8) and two more fleet-replenishment oilers (T-AO 211 and 212.) This contract follows $600 million previously awarded for long-lead time materials procurement for the same ships.

The new contract includes an option for the Navy to acquire an additional oiler, T-AO 213, which would raise the total value for the four vessels to $2.7 billion.

Construction of the four ships is expected to start during Q3 2023, continuing to 2027.

The Expeditionary Sea Base ships are semi-submersible, modular platforms that the USN uses for large-scale logistical efforts, such as transferring vehicles and equipment from sea to shore, reducing dependency on foreign ports and providing support and access when no port is available. The 60,000-mt, 785-ft long ships have a range of 9,500 nautical miles, and feature a hangar a 52,000 sq.-ft flight deck to support MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tilt-rotor, and H1 aircraft operations. Each ship also carries three landing crafts.

Three ESBs have been completed by General Dynamics NASSCO in San Diego since 2010, and five more are projected in USN planning.

The John Lewis-class U.S. Navy fleet oilers are 742-feet vessels have capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil and significant amounts of dry cargo, as well as provide aviation capability while traveling at speeds up to 20 knots. The first ship, USNS John Lewis (T-AO 205), was delivered to the U.S. Navy in July, and three more are now under construction.

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