Thirteen divisions of Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) successfully re-installed the port and starboard rudder aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), June 24.
The overhaul and installation of the rudders is considered a huge success for Lincoln’s refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) because the job was not initially planned.
“Conducting an inspection early in the dry dock period revealed problems that needed to be corrected,” said Cmdr. Vincent Janowiak, Lincoln’s chief engineer. “The work was very intrusive to the ship and getting this kind of work done prior to undocking the ship on its original schedule was a huge undertaking for the shipyard.”
The removal process of the rudders started in August 2013. Once the rudders were removed they were sent to the NNS machine shop for checks and then to X10 division for structural repairs.
The installation of the rudders took five days and was made possible by the use of cranes and the outstanding teamwork of shipyard workers from M53, O38, 043, X10, X11, X18, X31, X32, X33, X36, X42, X43 and X70 divisions.
“We used 50 ton chain falls in the dry dock to rig the rudder into place while a crane lowered the rudder stock from the flight deck through the ship to the fourth deck,” said Mike Bridges, X70 lead. “We then lined the rudder stock up with the rudder and began the install process.”
According to Bridges, the rudder installation was one of the biggest growth work jobs during the undocking period.
Lincoln is undergoing RCOH at NNS, a division of Huntington-Ingalls Industries in Newport News.
Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz-class to undergo an RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, Lincoln will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class aircraft carriers in the fleet and will continue to be a vital part of the nation’s defense.