USS Theodore Roosevelt Headed Into Mid-Life OverhaulNov 12, 2012 11:02 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
The USS Theodore Roosevelt [CVN 71] was built by Northrop Grumman’s Newport News sector. Commissioned on Oct 25/86, CVN 71 is expected to remain in service until 2036. As it approaches its mid-life stage, however, the wear begins to show. Instead of putting a ramp on its flight deck, buying it a nice red car, and pairing it with much younger ships, the US government has begun preparing for the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the carrier and its reactor plants.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived at the Newport News shipyard in August 2009 to begin its RCOH, and Northrop Grumman has valued the planning phase alone at $558 million. So what exactly is a RCOH, and how expensive is it likely to get before all is said and done?
The RCOH Process
After nearly 25 years of service, the USA’s nuclear aircraft carriers undergo a 3-year maintenance period to refuel their nuclear reactors, upgrade and modernize combat and communication systems, and overhaul the ship’s hull, mechanical and electrical systems. This is the refueling and complex overhaul.
During an American Nimitz Class carrier’s 50 year life span, it has 4 Drydocking Planned Incremental Availabilities and 12 Planned incremental availabilities. It has only one RCOH, however, which is the most significant overhaul the ship receives during its 50-year life span. See DID’s November 2005 coverage and detailing re: the CVN 70 USS Carl Vinson’s RCOH, which is expected to cost a total of $3.1 billion; about $1.94 billion went to Northrop Grumman for planning and execution.
Note that the new CVN-21 Gerald R. Ford Class will have a redesigned nuclear power plant whose features will affect its RCOH. The new system is expected to make use of advances from the USA’s Seawolf and Virginia Class submarine reactors, in order to eliminate expensive reactor refueling completely, increase the reactors’ output, and drop the number of people required to operate them.
The Nimitz Class isn’t so lucky – hence ongoing RCOH efforts and contracts involving CVN 71. Its RCOH work will also include extensive modernization work to more than 2,300 compartments, 600 internal tanks, and hundreds of systems. In addition, the ship will receive new propellers, overhauled propeller shafts with a new coating; and upgrades to the “island” that contains the ship’s bridge etc., the flight deck, the catapults, and the combat systems software that controls its weapons. That combat system upgrade will allow the ship to fire modern RIM-162 ESSM air defense missiles, and the ship’s 8-box MK29 launchers will receive a corresponding hardware ORDALT that lets them swap out their old RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missiles for the new kit.
Contracts & Key Events
Unless otherwise specified, all contracts are issued to Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc., formerly Northrop Grumman Newport News in Newport News, VA. US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Washington, DC manages the contracts.
With this contract, the total value of all announced CVN 71 RCOH contracts now stands at $3.185 billion.
Aug 14/12: A $20 million modification for CVN 71 planned supplemental work under the RCOH. Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is expected to be complete by February 2013 (N00024-09-C-2107).
March 29/12: An $82 million contract modification, for completion of supplemental work on USS Theodore Roosevelt’s RCOH. Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is expected to be complete by the ship’s expected finish date of February 2013. This contract was not competitively procured. (N00024-09-C-2107)
July 21/11: A $10 million modification for planned supplemental work during the ship’s RCOH. Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is expected to complete by February 2013 (N00024-09-C-2107).
May 21/11: Huntington Ingalls Industries completes the CVN 71 RCOH’s dry dock portion of work. Focus will now shift from underwater hull and propulsion plant repair, to final outfitting and testing at a shipyard pier in Newport News.
What’s done: Removed, refurbished and reinstalled the propeller shafts; installed new improved design propellers; painted the carrier’s massive hull; re-preserved nearly 200 tanks, and replaced hundreds of valves, pumps and piped components. Shipbuilders also removed the main mast and the top two levels of the island, replaced them with a new, reconfigured island structure and mast to provide enhanced capability.
Still left before re-delivery to the Navy in December 2012: Complete installation and testing of combat and electronic systems; Overhaul and re-energize electrical distribution systems; Overhaul, repair and test some propulsion plant systems; Habitability upgrades and modernization; Crew move-aboard, and Installation and testing of steam catapults and recovery systems. Approximately 3,700 employees are working on the project.
Feb 24/11: Northrop Grumman finishes re-installing the ship’s main mast. During refurbishment, the original round mast pole was removed and replaced with a modified, tapered square pole that is stronger, and keeps electrical and piping systems enclosed. It’s also larger, which allows for waist-high safety rails and easier access to all areas by internal ladders. Northrop Grumman.
Jan 11/11: A $48.9 million contract modification for planned supplemental work in the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s RCOH. Work will be performed in Newport News, VA, and is scheduled to complete by February 2013 (N00024-09-C-2107).
Dec 6/10: Northrop Grumman Newport News completes the installation of 4 new 32-ton propellers (aka. “screws”) on USS Theodore Roosevelt, with no injuries or accidents. The propellers are a new design, and the shafts themselves were overhauled and given a new coating. The process took about 15 months.
Aug 26/09: A $2.43 billion cost-plus-incentive-fee contract for Refueling Complex Overhaul of the USS Theodore Roosevelt [CVN 71]. The work will include the refueling of the ship’s reactors, as well as extensive modernization work to more than 2,300 compartments, 600 tanks, and hundreds of systems. In addition, upgrades will be made to the flight deck, catapults, combat systems and the island. Northrop Grumman expects to complete the RCOH work by February 2013. This contract was not competitively procured (N00024-09-C-2107).
Dec 12/08: Weapons upgrade. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems in Portsmouth, RI receives an $11.8 million modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-06-C-5422), exercising the FY 2009 NATO SEASPARROW Program Office’s FY 2009 options.
Under this order, the USS Theodore Roosevelt will receive 2 MK29 MOD 4 ESSM ORDALT Kits, and 4 Solid State Transmitter (SSTX) MK73 MOD 3 ORDALT Kits. ORDnance ALTeration kits allow ships to swap out their older RIM-7 Sea Sparrow air defense missile systems for the RIM-162 ESSM, which is designed to deal with modern anti-ship missiles.
This particular order also includes 2 more MK29 MOD 4 ESSM ORDALT Kits for use on LHD ships. This modification is a follow-on effort, which was previously performed under contract N00024-02-C-5421. Work will be performed in Portsmouth, RI and is expected to be complete by October 2010. The NATO SEASPARROW consortium, which includes the United States and 12 other countries, will fund this modification.
Oct 27/08: A $300.7 million cost plus fixed fee contract for continuation of the USS Theodore Roosevelt [CVN 71] Refueling Complex Overhaul advance planning efforts. This involves advance planning, ship checks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work to prepare for the RCOH. Work will be performed in Newport News, VA This contract was not competitively procured (N00024-07-C-2117).
Oct 24/07: A $190.7 million cost-plus-fixed-fee (with performance incentives) option to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-2117) for continuation of the USS Theodore Roosevelt [CVN 71] Refueling Complex Overhaul advance planning efforts.
This option will continue to provide for advanced planning, shipchecks, design, documentation, engineering, procurement, fabrication and preliminary shipyard or support facility work to prepare for and make ready for the refueling, overhaul, modernization and routine work on CVN 71 and its reactor plants. Work will be performed in Newport News, VA and is expected to be completed by October 2008. See also NGC release, which sets the total estimated value of the contract at $558.2 million.
Nov 16/06: A $65.3 million cost-plus-fixed fee, level of effort contract for FY 2007 advance planning in preparation for the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and its reactor plants. Northrop Grumman’s Newport News will perform the advance planning, design, documentation, engineering, material procurement, shipboard inspections, fabrication, and preliminary shipyard or support facility work. This contract was not competitively procured (N00024-07-C-2117).
Additional Reading and Sources
- US Navy – USS Theodore Roosevelt Official Web Site
- Wikipedia – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
- Navysite.de – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71)
- NavSource Online – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71)
- Northrop Grumman (Aug 26/09) – Northrop Grumman Awarded $2.4 Billion Contract for USS Theodore Roosevelt Refueling and Complex Overhaul
- US Navy (June 17/09) – USS Theodore Roosevelt Scoops Equipment to Prep for Overhaul
- US Navy (Jan 20/09) – Fleet Forces Commander Visits USS Theodore Roosevelt
- US Navy (Oct 10/08) – Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group Completes Multinational Exercise
- US Navy (Oct 4/08) – Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Group Arrives in Cape Town, South Africa
- US Navy (Sept 26/08) – USS Theodore Roosevelt Deploys in Support of Maritime Security Operations
- Northrop Grumman (Jan 4/08) – Northrop Grumman Awarded Planning Contract Option for USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Work
- Northrop Grumman (Nov 20-22/06) – Planning Contracts Awarded: Sector Receives $558M For CVN 71, $25M For CVN 79 [PDF]
- Northrop Grumman (Nov 16/06) – Northrop Grumman Awarded $558 Million Planning Contract for USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Work