CVN 71 completes four-year RCOH at Newport News

carrier redeliverAUGUST 29, 2013 — Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII), redelivered the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) to the U.S. Navy today.

The redelivery took place following successful sea trials that tested the ship's systems after its refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at the shipyard.

Roosevelt began its RCOH Aug. 26, 2009. More than 24 million man hours of work were conducted onboard the ship, including refueling the reactors, upgrading ship's infrastructure and modernizing combat systems and air wing capabilities to increase combat effectiveness. The revitalization enables the ship to carry out the remaining 23 years of its 50-year service life.

"Each RCOH is a milestone in the history of the ship and the Navy," said Capt. John Markowicz, program manager for In-Service Aircraft Carriers. "Our government and industry team is redelivering carriers their crews can be proud to serve aboard."

The sea trials, conducted by the U.S. Navy alongside NNS shipbuilders onboard, tested the carrier's systems and operations at sea, including high-speed operations. The trials team put the ship through a series of tests designed to prove system performance and demonstrate all the carrier's capabilities at sea.

"The ship's refueling and modernization was an enormous undertaking made successful by the joint efforts of the shipyard, Navy and government team," said Chris Miner, NNS' vice president, in-service aircraft carrier programs. "Her strong performance during sea trials is a source of pride for the 4,000 shipbuilders who worked tirelessly to return Roosevelt to the Navy's operational fleet today."

The RCOH process is performed only once during the ship's 50-year 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 were repaired, upgraded and modernized. Work also included defueling and refueling the ship's two nuclear reactors and repairs and upgrades to the propulsion plant.

NNS is the only shipyard with the workforce and facilities equipped for this nearly four-year project, which was described in a 2002 Rand Study as one of the most challenging and highly industrial tasks undertaken by any organization.

The fourth Nimitz-class carrier to undergo an RCOH, Roosevelt has had up to 4,000 shipbuilders assigned to her at peak manning periods. USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) arrived at NNS in March and is currently undergoing her RCOH.

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