Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress Page: 2 of 20
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Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress
The TAO(X) oiler shipbuilding program is a program to build a new class of 17 fleet oilers for the
Navy. The primary role of Navy fleet oilers is to transfer fuel to Navy surface ships that are
operating at sea, so as to extend the operating endurance of these surface ships and their
embarked aircraft. The Navy wants to procure the first TAO(X) in FY2016.
The Navy's proposed FY2016 budget requests $674.2 million to fully fund the procurement of
the first TAO(X). The Navy is requesting this funding in its regular shipbuilding account (the
Shipbuilding and Conversion, Navy, or SCN, account), rather than in the National Defense Sealift
Fund (NDSF), a separate account in the Department of Defense (DOD) budget where DOD
sealift ships and Navy auxiliary ships have been funded.
It was reported in January and February 2015 that the Navy, as part of its acquisition strategy for
the TAO(X) program, wants to issue a combined solicitation consisting of separate Requests for
Proposals (RFPs) for the detailed design and construction of the first six TAO(X)s, the detailed
design and construction of an amphibious assault ship called LHA-8 that the Navy wants to
procure in FY2017, and contract design support for the LX(R) program, a program to procure a
new class of 11 amphibious ships. It was also reported that the Navy wants to limit bidding in this
combined solicitation to two bidders-Ingalls Shipbuilding of Huntington Ingalls Industries
(HII/Ingalls) and National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of General Dynamics
(GD/NASSCO)-on the grounds that these are the only two shipbuilders that have the capability
to build both TAO(X)s and LHA-8.
Issues for Congress for FY2016 regarding the TAO(X) program include
" whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's FY2016 request for $674.2
million for the procurement of the first TAO(X);
" whether to fund the procurement of TAO(X)s in the SCN account, as the Navy
proposes, or the NDSF;
" whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's proposal to use a combined
solicitation for the detailed design and construction of the first six TAO(X)s, the
detailed design and construction of LHA-8, and contract design support for the
LX(R) program, and to limit the bidding in this solicitation to HII/Ingalls and
" whether to grant the Navy authority to use a block buy contract to procure the
first few TAO(X)s.
Congressional Research Service
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Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress, report, March 25, 2015; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808726/m1/2/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.