The US Navy has awarded a contract to Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) for advance planning of the refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) work on the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).
The latest $224m modified contract will finance the planning work for the RCOH and purchase long-lead materials, including pumps, breakers, valves and steel, to support the fabrication of structural units.
Newport News Shipbuilding in-service aircraft carrier programmes vice-president Chris Miner said: "The company has worked closely with our navy partners, performing ship checks and selected planning tasks associated with the defuelling of the ship.
"This contract award allows us to move beyond defuelling and plan all the work associated with a full RCOH, which underscores the navy's continued commitment to ensuring this great national asset remains in the fleet and operational for another 25 years."
Work will be performed at HII's Newport News Shipbuilding unit, which has previously undetaken RCOH work on the initial four Nimitz-class ships.
USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), the fifth vessel, is 60% complete and set for delivery in 2016.
RCOH involves refuelling of the reactors and refurbishing more than 2,300 compartments, 600 tanks and hundreds of distributive systems.
The project also involves an upgrade to the food service areas, aircraft launch and recovery systems, combat systems and its island.
HII started defuelling work on USS George Washington, which is scheduled for completion by July, last year.
Image: HII will perform advanced planning of the RCOH of the USS George Washington. Photo: courtesy of the US Navy.