Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has successfully completed dry dock work on the US Navy’s fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, USS Abraham Lincoln, paving the way for its final outfitting and testing phase.
The latest milestone follows the transfer of one of the 30t anchors from the inactivated aircraft carrier USS Enterprise to the Lincoln early last month.
Newport News in-service aircraft carrier programmes vice-president Chris Miner said: "The end of the dry dock portion of the RCOH marks a significant milestone in the life of an aircraft carrier.
"With Lincoln in the water, shipbuilders and sailors can focus on the final restoration, outfitting and testing of the ship’s systems."
The dry dock phase of refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) involved extensive repair and construction work, both inside and out, to revamp the ship.
Inside work involved re-preserving hundreds of tanks and replacing thousands of valves, pumps and piping components, with the exterior work involving painting the ship’s hull, upgrading the propeller shafts and deployment of refurbished propellers.
Performed as part of the navy’s $2.6bn, cost-plus-incentive-fee contract awarded in April 2013, the overall RCOH process involves a complete recapitalisation of the vessel.
The multi-year process will ultimately produce a recapitalised carrier with a potential to support both existing and future warfare doctrine.
Furthermore, the revamped Abraham Lincoln is on course for delivery in October 2016 and is anticipated to continue operating in the navy fleet for more 25 years.
Image: The undocking on the US Navy’s Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier. Photo: courtesy of Ricky Thompson / HII.