NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The final section of the ship's mast was installed Thursday on the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), currently undergoing a refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipbuilding
Part of the overhaul includes modernizing the ship's island with the latest technology and installing a new main mast.
"Our combat systems team has performed extremely well, working through some significant challenges and extreme conditions to meet this milestone," said Krueger Jackson, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding construction superintendent for the CVN 71 program. "The teamwork, skill and dedication of our craftsmen involved in this effort has positioned us well for meeting the challenges that lie ahead during this RCOH."
Shipyard officials say the 70-ton structure provides a platform for radar and communication systems high above the ship for maximum coverage. During refurbishment, the original round mast pole was removed and replaced with a modified, tapered square pole to increase strength and keep electrical and piping systems enclosed for survivability purposes. The new mast is also larger, which allows for waist-high safety rails and easier access to all areas by internal ladders.
"Reinstalling the mast represents a tangible and highly visible achievement for USS Theodore Roosevelt and Northrop Grumman," said Theodore Roosevelt Executive Officer, Capt. Douglas Verissimo. "The final shape of the ship is taking form during this very complex overhaul in getting this ship back in the water again where she belongs."
The removal and reconfiguration of the island structure and main mast began shortly after the ship arrived for its refueling and complex overhaul at Newport News in 2009. The RCOH is scheduled to last more than three years and will be the ship's one and only refueling and complex overhaul in its 50-year life span.
Launched in 1984 and delivered to the Navy in 1986, USS Theodore Roosevelt is the fourth Nimitz-class carrier built at Newport News.