Northrop Grumman Corporation redelivered to the Navy
the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) after completing its one and only refueling and complex overhaul in a 50-year life span.
The work was performed by the company's Newport News sector and the ship was redelivered after four days of successful sea trials, an
aggressive series of operational tests to demonstrate that Eisenhower's
two nuclear propulsion plants are fully mission capable.
"The effort and complexity of this job was a mammoth
undertaking," said Bob Gunter, senior vice president for the aircraft
carrier program at Northrop Grumman Newport News. "We've worked on
every inch of this ship, installing the latest advancements in
technology to make the 28-year-old 'Ike' better than new."
The Eisenhower is the second ship of the Nimitz class to
undergo this major life-cycle milestone. The work took more than three
years to complete and included the refueling of both of the ship's
reactors as well as extensive modernization work to more than 2,300
compartments, to include the ship's mess decks, medical and dental
spaces, and laundry and berthing spaces. Maintenance and repair work
was performed below the ship's waterline and included the application
of new paint. In addition, nearly 3,000 valves were replaced and
another 600 were overhauled in various ship systems.
Major upgrades were made to the flight deck, catapults, combat
systems and the island house. The top two levels of the island house
were removed and replaced to install a new antenna mast which provides
better radar capabilities. Northrop Grumman Newport News also installed
a new radar tower aboard the ship.
The Eisenhower was built by Northrop Grumman Newport News and
christened on October 11, 1975 by Mrs. Mamie Doud Eisenhower
, wife of
the ship's namesake, President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The ship was
commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1977 and began its first deployment to
the Mediterranean Sea in January 1979. After 22 years of service, the
Eisenhower arrived at the Newport News shipyard in 2001 for its
mid-life refueling and complex overhaul.