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Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to undergo $2.99B, four-year overhaul

Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis to undergo $2.99B, four-year overhaul
The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis will undergo a four-year, $2.99 billion Refueling Complex Overhaul, the Department of Defense and contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries announced. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis will undergo a four-year overhaul at a cost of $2.99 billion, contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries and the Department of Defense announced.

"This effort refuels, overhauls and modernizes USS John C. Stennis to support the second half of its 50-year service life," Defense Department officials said Friday in the contract announcement.

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The ship will be the seventh U.S. aircraft carrier to undergo the Refueling and Complex Overhaul.

Plans for the rebuilding began in 2018, when HII's Newport News Shipbuilding received a $187 million contract to begin engineering-pre-overhaul inspections -- material purchase and fabrication work pertinent to the refurbishment.

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The overhaul itself is expected to start this year and finish up by August 2025, HII said in a press release.

The overhaul includes removal of the flight deck and most of the shup's computer and combat systems, the renovation of tanks and other spaces and refueling its two nuclear reactors, followed by a total reconstruction.

A complete RCOH represents about 35 percent of an aircraft carrier's maintenance and modernization over its lifespan.

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In the case of the USS Stennis, modernization of over 2,300 components, including catapults and the command center known as the Island, are planned.

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The aircraft carrier USS George Washington is currently undergoing a similar conversion at the HII facility in Virginia.

The two ships will be berthed side-by-side until work on the USS Washington, planned to conclude in late 2021 but delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, is completed.

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The 1,092-foot long USS John C. Stennis, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, was commissioned in 1995.

"Our teams have spent three years preparing and planning for each step of the process along the way, and we look forward to continuing our work with our suppliers and Navy partners in anticipation of the ship's arrival at Newport News," said Todd West, vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs at Newport News Shipbuilding.

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