Updated August 26, 2013 2:04 PM
USS Theodore Roosevelt Begins Post-RCOH Sea Trials
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Navy’s fourth Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier has returned to sea in the closing stages of its more than three-year-long midlife upgrade.
USS Theodore Roosevelt departed the Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) yard in Newport News, Va., on Aug. 25, for sea trials off the Virginia Capes as part of its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH), the life-extension process designed to extend the service life of each of the Nimitz-class CVNs to 50 years.
Theodore Roosevelt was preceded in RCOH by its sister ships USS Nimitz, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Carl Vinson, and will be followed into RCOH by USS Abraham Lincoln, which already has arrived at Newport News.
RCOH involves refueling of the ship’s two nuclear reactors as well as refurbishment of the ship and installation of new systems.
The Naval Sea Systems Command awarded a $2.4 billion contract to NNS (then a unit of Northrop Grumman) on Aug. 26, 2009, to conduct the RCOH of Theodore Roosevelt. NNS is the only shipyard capable of performing an RCOH.
The RCOH of the 10-ship Nimitz class and the new construction of the follow-on Gerald R. Ford class are critical to sustaining the Navy’s plan of fielding a force of 11 CVNs.