The US Navy has completed an engineered refueling overhaul (ERO) on the USS Louisiana (SSBN 743) Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarine at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Washington.
ERO applies complex modernization, maintenance, and alterations for a submarine to extend its operability. It involves a lengthy process of replacing the vessel’s nuclear reactor fuel elements.
Last ERO for Ohio-Class Submarines
According to the US Navy, the overhaul is the largest repair package implemented on the Louisiana and the final ERO maintenance for an Ohio-class submarine.
The effort required 870,000 resource days over 40 months of work.
“The Louisiana ERO was tasked to complete 120,000 more resource days of work than the USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) ERO and 150,000 more resource days of work than the USS Maine (SSBN 741) ERO,” Louisiana ERO Project Superintendent Ken Rogers Jr. explained.
“Additionally, the length of Louisiana’s ERO was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and unexpected new work items that included an unprecedented repair to a communication system.”
Alongside the refueling works, USS Louisiana received electronic system upgrades, major components replacements, women’s quarter reconfiguration, and associated repairs and inspections.
“They (Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility team) leaned-in to ensure the project was working the right priorities at the right time to support each major key event,” Rogers stated.
“Their attention-to-detail, people-first leadership, and drive to meet the project’s goals was outstanding.”
USS Louisiana in Service
The USS Louisiana is the 18th and last Ohio-class submarine. It is the fourth US Navy asset to bear the name.
The submarine’s keel was laid in 1992. It was christened in 1996 and commissioned into service the following year.
Based in Kings Bay, the Louisiana was transferred to Bangor, Washington, in 2005.