The US Navy has awarded a $72.6m contract to Northrop Grumman for the post-delivery maintenance work of the navy’s Nimitz Class supercarrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77).

Under this contract the company will install a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) handling system and a new fresh water purification system to the ship.

The improvement programme also incorporates compartment reconfigurations, combat system and radar equipment upgrades and minor repairs.

The ship’s post-shakedown availability (PSA) contract has been received by the company’s shipbuilding sector.

The company is expected to have the work finished by early 2010.

Named after the 41st US president, USS George HW Bush is the tenth and final Nimitz Class aircraft carrier.