Northrop Grumman has won $300 million contract to prepare for the overhaul and refit of the Nimitz-class carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. (US Navy photo)
The USS Theodore Roosevelt [CVN 71] was built by Northrop Grumman’s Newport News sector. Commissioned on October 25, 1986, 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 instead for the refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) of CVN 71 and its reactor plants. the USS Theodore Roosevelt is scheduled to arrive at the Newport News shipyard in 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?