HII announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division has redelivered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) to the U.S. Navy. The redelivery took place after successful sea trials that tested the ship’s systems following its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at NNS.
“Redelivering George Washington to the Navy is the end result of incredible teamwork between our shipbuilders, the CVN 73 crew, our government partners and all of our suppliers,” said Todd West, NNS vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. “George Washington has gone through a transformation and now returns to the fleet as a fully recapitalized ship, ready to support any mission and serve our nation for another 25 years.”
Sea trials test the carrier’s systems and operations at sea, including high-speed operations. The trials team, comprising sailors, shipbuilders and government representatives, puts the ship through a series of tests designed to prove system performance and demonstrate all the carrier’s capabilities at sea.
“Getting our warship redelivered and back out to sea to take its place as the premier CVN in the world’s greatest Navy is a direct result of the tenacity and grit displayed by our warfighters,” said Capt. Brent Gaut, Washington‘s commanding officer. “To our incredible Sailors, contractors and shipyard workers: I am proud of you, and I sincerely hope you feel an extreme sense of pride as well, especially in light of our once-in-a-lifetime achievement. You all share an equal part in the legacy of getting our warship back into Navy service at a pivotal moment in our great nation’s history. Our collective intent is to show the world what we can do, and what we must do in support of America’s strategic and operational objectives.”
The RCOH process is performed only once during the ship’s lifetime and involves upgrades to nearly every space and system on the ship. Tanks, the hull, shafting, propellers, rudders, piping, ventilation, electrical, combat and aviation support systems are repaired, upgraded and modernized. Work also includes defueling and refueling the ship’s two nuclear reactors as well as repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to the propulsion plant.
NNS is the only shipyard with the skilled workforce and facilities equipped for this project. USS George Washington is the sixth Nimitz-class carrier to undergo RCOH. The RCOH represents 35% of all maintenance and modernization in an aircraft carrier’s service life.
Work continues at NNS on the RCOH for USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), with steady progress so far this year, including the installation of the main mast.