Huntington Ingalls Industries has delivered the USS George Washington (CVN 73) to the US Navy after modernizing it for the second half of its service.
The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier handover is part of a $2.8 billion refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) to upgrade the Nimitz-class vessel’s infrastructure and combat systems.
“George Washington’s RCOH represents 26 million man-hours of work, that involved refitting and installing a new main mast, updating the ship’s shafts, refurbishing propellers, and modernizing aircraft launch and recovery equipment,” US Navy Aircraft Carriers Manager Capt. Mark Johnson stated.
“The work enhanced nearly every space and system on the carrier, from the hull, screws, and rudders to more than 600 tanks; thousands of valves, pumps, and piping components; electrical cables and ventilation; as well as combat and aviation support systems.”
“Beyond the critical need to defuel and refuel the ship’s two nuclear reactors and to repair and upgrade the propulsion plant, this work touched every part of the ship—and challenged every member of the planning team and ship’s force.”
25-Year Extended Service
Trials before the delivery focused on the vessel’s high-speed maneuvering, employment of new technology and equipment, and the full range of operating systems.
Following the RCOH, the ship will be inducted under the US 7th Fleet next year in partnership with Naval Forces – Japan to replace the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) currently stationed in the region.
The deployment will mark the USS George Washington’s second collaboration with the Japanese military after serving from 2008 to 2015 as the first nuclear-powered US carrier in Japan.
Meanwhile, the Reagan will be relocated to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility in Bremerton, Washington, where it will receive repairs and upgrades.
“Redelivering George Washington to the Navy is the end result of incredible teamwork between our shipbuilders, the CVN 73 crew, our government partners and all of our suppliers,” Newport News Shipbuilding In-Service Aircraft Carrier Programs VP Todd West stated.
“George Washington has gone through a transformation and now returns to the fleet as a fully recapitalized ship, ready to support any mission and serve our nation for another 25 years.”
Nimitz-class aircraft carrier #USSGeorgeWashington (CVN 73) will return to @US7thFleet as the forward-deployed Naval Forces-Japan aircraft carrier at Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan 🇯🇵 in 2024. #FreeAndOpenIndoPacific
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— U.S. Pacific Fleet (@USPacificFleet) April 29, 2023