NEWPORT, Va., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, and the U.S. Navy have begun testing the USS Abraham Lincoln's updated catapult systems.
Sipbuilders and Navy crew tested the aircraft carrier's steam catapult systems using a process called "no-load" testing to operate the overhauled components with steam for the first time. During the testing, the catapults are shot around 20 times with under two minutes of recovery time between operations.
The testing comes as the vessel approaches the end of its midlife refueling and complex overhaul. Newport News vice president Chris Miner said catapult systems need to be modernized when an aircraft carrier is overhauled.
"Many of the components are tested at a land-based facility prior to being installed into the ship for final testing," Miner explained. "The testing of the catapults is another signal that this great ship is coming back to life and will soon rejoin the fleet for another 25 years of service to our country."
The ship began its refueling complex overhaul in March 2013, and is scheduled to be delivered in 2016 following about 44 months of work. Once it re-enters service, the vessel is expected to serve the Navy for another 25 years.