Navy moves ahead on TAO-(X)

TAOJULY 8, 2013 — The U.S.Navy is moving ahead with its plans for a new generation of fleet oilers. NAVSEA's PEO Ships has awarded shipbuilders NASSCO, Ingalls and VT Halter Marine firm-fixed price contracts at or below a not-to-exceed amount of $1.7 million for trade-off industry studies to support a new class of Navy Fleet Replenishment Oilers, T-AO(X).

TAO-(X) will replace legacy T-AO 187 class

The contracts also include options for a ship integration study, inert gas system cost study, and the potential for additional special studies, analyses and reviews.

T-AO(X) will replace legacy fleet oilers (T-AO 187 Class), providing fuel and cargo delivery to support a full range of fleet operations. In addition, T-AO(X), in conjunction with a T-AKE 1 Class ship, will operate as a "station ship," accompanying and staying on-station with a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) or Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) to provide fuel as required.

"T-AO(X) is needed to replace our aging Fleet Oilers," said Frank McCarthey, program manager for Support Ships, Boats and Craft. "This award will help the Navy achieve an affordable design that supports energy efficiency, equipment reliability, and efficient cargo handling and transportation."

GD subsidiary NASSCO, based in San Diego, California, Huntington Ingalls division Ingalls, based in Pascagoula, Miss., and VT Halter Marine, which is owned by Singapore Technologies Engineering and is also based in Pascagoula, will provide studies for the government applying their shipbuilding design and construction experiences — leading to an affordable design solution.

The six to ten month industry studies effort will support the development of the T-AO(X) system specification. The next contract phase will support award for detail design and construction, with a planned Fiscal Year 2016 lead ship. The current procurement plan is for a total of 17 ships, with the lead ship scheduled to deliver in 2020.

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