The mid-life overhaul of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington will extend until 2023


USS George Washington (CVN-73) in 2020. US Navy

THE PENTAGON – The mid-life repair and refueling of the USS aircraft carrier george washington (CVN-73) will run through 2023 and last well over five and a half years, according to Navy budget documents.

The service now estimates that refueling and refurbishment will be completed in March 2023, nearly 19 months later than the original scheduled delivery in August 2021, the service said in its recently released fiscal year 2023 budget document.

As recently as March, the Naval Sea Systems Command estimated the ship would deliver in December, according to a NAVSEA statement reported by Defense News.

The extension is part of an additional $62 million the Navy is requesting in the fiscal year 2023 budget and an additional $45 million in the unfunded request to complete the extended maintenance window. , reads the draft budget.

“[The] The base construction increase for CVN 73 over the FY2022 budget request is intended to fund increased shipbuilder costs due to time-related services, emerging and incremental growth, and schedule delays,” says the FY2023 budget Shipbuilding Account entry. A message requesting further details about the delay was acknowledged by NAVSEA but not immediately returned. first reported that the carrier was due to deliver in 2023, citing GW the commanding officer, Captain Brent Gaut, addressed the crew last week.

The former Japan-based carrier began refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) in earnest in 2017 at Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia. The first half of the RCOH, which will prepare the carrier to operate for another 25 years, has been completed by 2020. But labor issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and unexpected work that has arisen on the carrier have caused delays.

The Japan-based carrier has an annual maintenance period in Yokosuka, while US carriers see a major overhaul of nine months or more every three to four years.

“There are two aspects to this – one, in some cases due to this different maintenance frequency, there are areas where we expect to see less growth work; in other words, the ship will be in better condition. Most of that would be outside of the propulsion plant,” Chris Miner, vice president of in-service carrier programs, told USNI News at the start of RCOH in 2017.
“And then in other cases, there’s work that’s not really suitable to be performed while he’s in Japan, so we’ll do that work during that availability.”

HII spokesman Danny Hernandez told USNI News on Monday that “Newport News is focused on delivering [a] fully recapitalized carrier to the fleet as soon as possible.

News of the expansion comes as some of the more than 400 sailors living on the carrier have had the option of leaving the ship following a series of suicides by crew members.

Three GW sailors died by suicide in a week in April, according to the Virginia Office of the Medical Examiner. Since 2019, seven GW sailors died by suicide, according to the Navy. There was also an additional death of a GW sailor for the past 12 months that a military medical examiner ruled indeterminate, while civilian officials determined it was a suicide.

Long maintenance availabilities are tough times for crew members who live in cramped quarters in what looks like an industrial area.

In 2019, three sailors assigned to USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) committed suicide while the ship was undergoing a 30-month maintenance period at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Norfolk, Virginia.


Comments are closed.