Navy moving forward with Truman refueling planning after political dispute

By Aidan Quigley / October 1, 2020 at 12:59 PM

The Navy is moving forward with planning for the refueling of the aircraft carrier Harry Truman (CVN-75) after last year's debate about whether or not to do it.

The Pentagon pushed to opt out of the carrier's mid-life refueling and complex overhaul and retire the ship, despite opposition from lawmakers in both parties. The Navy had argued that retiring the ship would allow it to pursue new technologies, including unmanned systems.

Vice President Mike Pence announced in April 2019 that the administration would not be retiring the carrier.

The Truman's refueling and complex overhaul is scheduled to start in fiscal year 2025, Navy spokesman Alan Baribeau told Inside Defense. Planning efforts will ramp up over time, he said.

"For example, pre-RCOH planning activities could include identification of specific upgrades and repairs to systems, review of completed work in the ship's life to date to define the repair and maintenance scope of work for the RCOH, long-lead time material procurement, and administrative functions leading to an advance planning contract solicitation to Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.," he said.

Baribeau said that the Navy has not yet established a contract with HII, as cost estimates will be refined during the planning process. The COVID-19 pandemic has not had an impact on the refueling process, he said.