Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The Nimitz-class USS George Washington has become the sixth carrier to undergo major life-cycle refits, and the first to have a new radar tower installed as one complete structure.
Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding announced it has finished roughly 25 percent of the refueling and complex overhaul work aboard the nuclear-powered USS George Washington.
The work is part of $2.8 billion contract issued last September for Refueling Complex Overhaul and refits, refurbishment and upgrades of much of the carrier's systems.
"This is a significant engineering, planning and construction improvement," Christ Miner, Newport News' vice president of aircraft carrier programs, said in a statement.
"This lift was the result of our digital shipbuilding efforts to harness the use of technology, including visual work instructions that allowed us to increase efficiency and productivity. We look forward to continuing to work with our Navy customers to improve our RCOH processes," according to Miner.
The USS George Washington started its 48-month long midlife overhaul cycle last August after spending seven years deployed in Yokosuka, Japan. The Huntington Ingalls shipyard in Newport News is the only private shipyard in the United States capable of upgrade and refueling work on nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
The Nimitz-class is the primary fleet carrier of the U.S. Navy, with the Gerald R. Ford class expected to supplant it over the next few decades. Ten of the vessels currently in service.