The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN 77) is set to undergo a scheduled overhaul at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) for a period of 28 months.

The dry-docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) of the 103,000t, 1,092ft aircraft carrier involves an estimated 1.3 million man-days. The extensive maintenance period means USS George HW Bush will not be waterborne for the first time since 2006.

During the maintenance period, project team members will leverage advanced technology including exoskeleton suits, additive manufacturing, laser scanners to create virtual rigging paths, and the development of training models using virtual reality.

USS George HW Bush project superintendent Jeff Burchett said: “There are a lot of first-time jobs all around, given this is the first time Bush has sat on keel blocks since being built. With the size of this work package, it will take a total team effort by NNSY.”

"Built by Northrop Grumman Newport News, the USS George HW Bush is the tenth and final vessel of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers."

The majority of the project team will be working on a dry-docked carrier for the first time. Planning for the DPIA took around 18 months.

Burchett added: “We have new supervisors, new zone managers, new assistant project superintendents. This is a great chance for teaching and mentoring people in new positions how to execute and perform to their top potential.”

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Built by Northrop Grumman Newport News, the USS George HW Bush is the tenth and final vessel of the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

Commissioned in 2009, it is capable of carrying up to 56 fixed-wing aircraft including the Hornet, F/A-18A, C, E and F, the Grumman EA-6B Prowler and the Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, and up to 15 helicopters, Sikorsky SH-60F, HH-60H Seahawk and SH-60B Seahawks.

The Navy will use CVN 77 to perform sustained Carrier Strike Group operations and independent carrier operations.