The USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) arrived at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ [HII] Newport News Shipbuilding division on May 6 to start its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).

“For the last three years, we have planned each step of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis‘ (CVN-74) RCOH, including procuring long lead-time materials, conducting shipboard inspections and readying our facilities for this extensive engineering and construction project,” Todd West, Newport News’ vice president for In-Service Aircraft Carrier Programs, said in a statement.

USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) arrives at Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding division on May 6, 2021 to begin its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). (Photo: Ashley Cowan/HII)
USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) arrives at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division on May 6, 2021 to begin its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH). (Photo: Ashley Cowan/HII)

In February, the Navy awarded HII a $3 billion contract for the CVN-74 RCOH (Defense Daily, February 22).

This mid-life work will refuel the nuclear reactors, overhaul and modernize the Nimitz-class carrier to support the second half of its roughly 50-year service life. HII is the only source for producing and maintaining U.S. aircraft carriers.

The company previously said this work represents 35 percent of all the maintenance and modernization in a carrier’s service life. The work is set to provide major upgrades to the propulsion plant, flight deck, catapults, combat systems and the island.

In 2019, the Navy awarded HII a $291 modification to add a second year of preparation work for the Stennis RCOH, covering some advance planning. At that time, the RCOH was expected to last four years and end by late 2024 (Defense Daily, Aug. 2, 2019).

The company now says the work will continue through late 2025.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the ship’s crew and our 579 vendors across 36 states that provide material and services which brings stability of this industrial base and is critical to our ability to continue to build and maintain the Navy fleet our Navy and nation needs,” West said.

Stennis is the seventh Nimitz-class carrier to undergo this major mid-life availability. HII noted over the next four years it will perform hull and freeboard blast and paint, repairs to its propellers, sea chests, shafts, and rudders and defueling and refueling of the power plant.