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USS George Washington More Than Halfway Through RCOH, Will Leave Dry Dock


The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73) is more than halfway through its refuelling and complex overhaul and is set to leave the dry dock at Newport News Shipbuilding next month to begin the next phase of a four-year overhaul.


USS George Washington More Than Halfway Through RCOH Will Leave Dry Dock 925 001 The final piece of the new main mast of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) is installed at Huntington (Picture source: Huntington Ingalls Industries)


The ship’s crew announced this week it had reached the 50-percent completion mark in its portion of the carrier’s RCOH, with each department onboard working to restore their equipment and spaces to keep the ship ready to operate for another 25 years.

“USS George Washington (CVN-73) currently is in our dry dock for hull and freeboard blast and paint; repairs to its propellers, sea chests, shafts, and rudders; and refuelling and refuelling of its power plant. The overhaul is more than 50 percent complete, and we are on track to flood the dry dock next month and transition to the next phase of the RCOH – final outfitting and testing. The RCOH is expected to be completed in late 2021,” Newport News Shipbuilding spokesman Duane Bourne told USNI News.

Each nuclear-powered aircraft carrier goes through a four-year refuelling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at the midway point of its 50-year service life. Newport News Shipbuilding handles the most complex work, including refuelling the nuclear reactor plant, tearing out the flight deck and catapults to repair corrosion and damage, and upgrading networks and systems.

In addition to getting the work done faster, having the crew participate in the midlife overhaul gives sailors a chance to learn the ins and outs of their gear, which should help them better understand how to maintain and troubleshoot the equipment later on.