Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division has won a contract to perform the refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of USS John C Stennis (CVN 74).

CVN 74 is the US Navy’s Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The contract is valued at $2.9bn.

HII said that RCOH represents 35% of all modernisation and maintenance in an aircraft carrier’s service life of 50 years.

Work will include refuelling the ship’s reactors and major enhancement work on more than 2,300 compartments, tanks and systems.

Major upgrades will be made to the propulsion plant, flight deck, catapults, combat systems and island.

Newport News in-service aircraft carrier programmes vice-president Todd West said: “We are pleased to be awarded the contract to execute this extensive construction and engineering project.

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“Our teams have spent three years preparing and planning for each step of the process along the way, and we look forward to continuing our work with our suppliers and Navy partners in anticipation of the ship’s arrival at Newport News.”

USS John C Stennis is the seventh Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to undergo an RCOH programme.

The naval vessel was christened in 1993 and delivered to service in 1995.

In August 2018, HII secured an advance planning contract with a base value of $187.5m for USS John C Stennis.

According to HII, more than 4,000 Newport News employees will support the execution effort, which will run until 2025.