Navy TAO(X) Oiler Shipbuilding Program: Background and Issues for Congress [February 6, 2015] [open pdf - 442KB]
"The TAO(X) [the 'T' prefix designates a naval vessel crewed by civilians but under naval command, 'AO' is the naval designation for 'fleet oiler' vessels, and '(X)' refers to any specific oiler model type] 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. […] Issues for Congress for FY2016 regarding the TAO(X) program include: (1) whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's FY2016 request for $674.2 million for the procurement of the first TAO(X); (2) whether to fund the procurement of TAO(X)s in the SCN account, as the Navy proposes, or the NDSF [National Defense Sealift Fund]; and (3) whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy's proposal to bundle together the TAO(X), LHA-8 [naval acronym referring to an 8th generation of a LHA class amphibious assault ship], and LX(R) [naval designation for an amphibious ship building program] competitions and limit bidding in the bundled competition to HII/Ingalls [Huntington Ingalls Industries] and GD/NASSCO [National Steel and Shipbuilding Company of General Dynamics]."
CRS Report for Congress, R43546
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html