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After delay, Lincoln arrives for midlife refuel

Mar. 28, 2013 - 09:32PM   |  
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After a six-week delay, the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln is moving forward with its midlife refueling.

The carrier moved from Norfolk, Va., to the dry dock at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division Thursday, prepping it for a 3 1/2-year refueling and overhaul. The transit had been set for mid-February but was delayed by budget cuts; funds provided in the continuing resolution signed by President Obama earlier this week put the work back on track.

In all, the process is expected to cost $3.3 billion and keep Lincoln in service another 25 years.

It’s now expected to finish the process in November 2016, a month later than originally planned.

The dry dock is the only one that can handle the refueling of a nuclear-powered carrier, and the Navy and HII try to synchronize ship schedules so that there is an interrupted flow of carriers into the facility.

The aircraft carrier Enterprise will need to spend time in the facility as part of its inactivation, and the George Washington is next in line for RCOH. Naval Sea Systems Command said the Navy is making “every effort to not have this delay impact the current dry docking schedule for CVN 65 inactivation work or the CVN 73 RCOH.”

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