NASSCO Wins $1.4 Billion in Navy Contract Mods


Written by

Nick Blenkey

NASSCO is to build two more John Lewis-class fleet tankers (top photo) and another ESB (bottom photo)

General Dynamics NASSCO Shipyard in San Diego has received $1.4 billion in contract amendments from the U.S. Navy to build a sixth Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB 8) ship and two additional Fleet-class tankers. John Lewis (T-AO 211 and 212).

The award is in addition to the $600 million already received for the purchase of long-lead materials for the same ships.

The ESB contract amendment is worth $535,021,375 while the T-AO price is worth $890,000,000 and includes an option for the Navy to procure an additional tanker, T-AO 213, which if exercised would carry her cumulative value at $1,625,000,000 – and the total potential value of the four ships at $2.7 billion.

“NASSCO is committed to working with the Navy to deliver these vital ships to the fleet,” said Dave Carver, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. “As partners in the Navy, we remain committed to ensuring the success of these two programs to help improve and expand the Navy’s forward presence and combat capabilities while ensuring sustained growth in our workforce.”

Construction of the four vessels is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue through 2027.

In 2011, the Navy awarded NASSCO a contract to design and build the first two ships in the new Mobile Landing Platform, USNS program. Montford Point and USNS John Glenn. The program evolved, adding USS Lewis B. Puller (BSE 3), USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (BSE 4), USS Miguel Keith (ESB 5), the future USS John L. Canley (ESB 6) and the future USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7), configured as ESB. ESB ships are highly flexible platforms designed to support multiple maritime missions, including aerial mine countermeasures, special operations forces, and limited crisis response. Acting as a mobile maritime base, this 784-foot vessel has a 52,000 square foot flight deck to support operations of MH-53, MH-60, MV-22 tiltrotor and H1 aircraft. The future USS John L. Canley (BSE 6) and USS Robert E. Simanek (ESB 7) are currently under construction.

In 2016, the Navy awarded NASSCO a contract to design and build the first six ships of the fleet’s next generation of tankers, the John Lewis class. Designed to transfer fuel to US Navy ships operating at sea, the 742-foot vessels have a full load displacement of 49,850 tons, a capacity to carry 157,000 barrels of oil and significant amounts of dry cargo, as well as aviation capability while traveling at speeds up to 20 knots. The first ship, the USNS john lewis (T-AO 205), was delivered to the US Navy in July 2022. The USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO 206), USNS Earl Warren (T-AO 207), and USNS Robert F. Kennedy (T-AO 208) are currently under construction.

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