VIDEO: USS Abraham Lincoln fires aircraft catapult

Naval Today recently reported about the U.S. Navy’s fifth Nimitz-class destroyer, USS Abraham Lincoln, performing a “no-load” test firing of one of its aircraft catapults during its Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) process.

The American shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries, whose Newport News Shipbuilding division is performing the RCOH of Abraham Lincoln, has now shared the above shown video of this important milestone.

Notably, Newport News Shipbuilding is, according to Huntington Ingalls, the only shipyard that performs the RCOH procedure on the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

The testing involves shooting the catapults about 20 times with less than two minutes of recovery time between operations. Lincoln is in the final stages of testing all of its steam-powered systems.

RCOH is the mid-life refueling overhaul and maintenance availability of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier that produces a recapitalized carrier capable of supporting current and future warfare doctrine. Once Lincoln’s RCOH is complete, the carrier will be equipped to operate in the U.S. Navy fleet for the second half of its 50-year expected service life.

Lincoln’s RCOH began in March 2013. The entire process takes about 44 months, during which Newport News shipbuilders complete more than 23 million man-hours of maintenance and modernization work. The ship is on track to redeliver in 2016.

Newport News’ vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs Chris Miner said: “When an aircraft carrier undergoes its overhaul, we completely update and modernize the components in the ship’s catapult systems.”

“Many of the components are tested at a land-based facility prior to being installed into the ship for final testing. It’s rewarding to see the hard work of the shipbuilders and the Navy culminate in ‘shooting’ the catapults with steam for the first time in over three years. The testing of the catapults is another signal that this great ship is coming back to life and will soon rejoin the fleet for another 25 years of service to our country.”

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Naval Today Staff; Image/Video: Huntington Ingalls Industries