The following is the Congressional Research Service report of August 31, 2021, Navy John Lewis (TAO-205) Class Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress.
From the report
The Navy purchased its first John Lewis-class tanker (TAO-205) in fiscal 2016, and a total of six were purchased in fiscal 2021, including the fifth and sixth during fiscal year fiscal year 2020. The first six TAO-205s are purchased under a bulk purchase contract authorized by article 127 of the law on the authorization of national defense for fiscal year 2016 (S. 1356 / PL 114-92 of November 25, 2015) and are built by General Dynamics. / National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (GD / NASSCO) of San Diego, CA.
The Navy wants to procure a total of 20 TAO-205s. The Navy’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 requests $ 668.2 million for the purchase of a seventh-class TAO-205 vessel, and additional funding of $ 76.0 million for advance procurement ( AP) for the purchase of another TAO-205 in an upcoming fiscal year.
The questions for Congress are:
- cost growth and schedule delays for the TAO-205 program;
- the potential impact of the COVID-19 situation on the execution of US military shipbuilding programs, including the TAO-205 program;
- whether to purchase one TAO-205 class vessel (as requested), no TAO-205 class vessel, or two TAO-205 class vessels in fiscal year 2022;
- the total number of TAO-205s that the Navy will need in the coming years to support its operations, in particular in light of the Navy’s new Operational Concept of Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO);
- questions regarding the TAO-205 program discussed in a June 2021 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report assessing key DOD procurement programs; and
- whether to encourage or direct the Navy to build TAO-205s with more ship self-defense equipment than the Navy currently plans.
Download the document here.