The refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) programme of the US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is nearly 80% complete. 

The programme is being carried out by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) subsidiary Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. 

USS George Washington, which is advancing through its final outfitting and test phase, remains on schedule for redelivery in 2022. 

CVN 73 arrived at the shipyard in August 2017 to undergo complex engineering and construction.  

As part of the RCOH programme, HII has achieved two milestones that include the start of shore steam testing programme and conclusion of modification and repairs to potable water system for the carrier. 

Re-introduction of steam to the ship’s steam-driven components included equipment and system removal, refurbishments, replacements, alignments, and pre-steam testing.  

The potable water system is spread over different parts of the ship.  

The system parts include 26 tanks, pumps, valves, and thousands of feet of pipe. The team refurbished the tanks, reconfigured the system, and tested the piping pressure.  

Water was also chlorinated and tested to ensure safety for the crew. 

In March last year, NNS division completed the installation of the final piece of USS George Washington new main mast

Newport News CVN 73 programme director Todd West said: “These milestones are significant events in the life of the programme; there is a lot of hard work that goes into getting to this point in the RCOH where we have steam flowing into the propulsion plant and clean drinking water flowing through the ship’s potable water system.  

“These milestones bring us a step closer to the completion of the RCOH.” 

USS George Washington will be the sixth Nimitz-class carrier to receive a mid-life refuelling overhaul and maintenance availability.

In August 2019, the US Navy awarded a contract modification to NNS to continue planning for mid-life maintenance work on the USS John C Stennis (CVN 74) aircraft carrier.