The Nimitz-class carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) has completed a complex upgrade and refueling that will extend the life of the ship another 23 years, the Navy announced on Thursday.
After four years of work at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipyard, the ship returned to its homeport at Naval Station Norfolk, Va.
The $2.6 billion refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of Roosevelt both added fuel to the ship’s two nuclear reactors as well as refurbish almost all aspects of the 100,000 ton carrier.
“Each RCOH is a milestone in the history of the ship and the Navy,” said Capt. John Markowicz, program manager for In-Service Aircraft Carriers in a Thursday statement from Naval Sea Systems Command.
The milestone comes after four days of sea trails for the ship in which tested a wide range of ship systems, NAVSEA said in its statement.
The Navy, “will now conduct local operations and begin its flight deck certification,” according to NAVSEA.
Roosevelt is the fourth Nimitz to undergo the overhaul.
“The improved capabilities of the ship were shown to be operating properly,” Chris Miner, Newport News’ vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs told Defense News on Thursday.
“At the end of the day, TR is [now] as capable as any carrier in the fleet.”
RCOH’s and new carrier construction traditionally make up about two-thirds of the Virginia shipyards business, with the rest devoted to construction of the Virginia-class attack submarine.
Newport News is currently in the early stages of removing the fuel and scrapping the former USS Enterprise and has started early work on the RCOH for USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72).