This week, the Navy said the USS George Washington (CVN-73) is halfway through the four-year refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the carrier.
The service said reaching the halfway point in the ship’s force work package (SFWP), their portion of the overall RCOH, will help the ship sail for another 25 years.
All nuclear-powered carriers go through a four-year RCOH at the mid-point of its 50-year service life. CVN-73 entered Huntington Ingalls Industries’ [HII] Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) shipyard to start the process in 2017.
Naval Sea Systems Command awarded HII a $2.8 billion execution contract for the Washington’s RCOH in September 2017. At the time, the company noted the RCOH covers 35 percent of all modernization, repairs, and maintenance in a carrier’s life (Defense Daily, Sept. 5, 2017).
The George Washington’s ship website noted it is the sixth Nimitz-class carrier to undergo the four-year long overhaul and refueling process.
“During George Washington’s time in the shipyard, she will overhaul and upgrade the combat systems and other warfighting capabilities, improve the ship’s material condition, and refuel the reactors,” the Navy said in a statement.
“USS George Washington (CVN-73) currently is in our dry dock for hull and freeboard blast and paint, repairs to its propellers, sea chests, shafts, and rudders and defueling and refueling of its power plant,” NNS spokesman Duane Bourne told Defense Daily.
In the following months, CVN-73’s dry dock will next be flooded, marking another milestone.
“The overhaul is more than 50 percent complete, and we are on track to flood the dry dock next month and transition to the next phase of the RCOH — final outfitting and testing,” Bourne continued.
The total effort is expected to be finished in late 2021.
Bourne said the company is “pleased” with the ship’s progress and it continues “to work closely with our Navy partners and more than 680 suppliers from 40 states on this extremely complex engineering and construction project.”