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Nuclear refueling is latest budget crisis cut via Navy Times

The refueling overhaul of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has been postponed by the Navy — another manifestation of Congress’s inability to pass a 2013 defense funding bill.

The ship was scheduled to move in mid-February from Virginia’s Norfolk naval base to Newport News Shipbuilding to begin a $3.3 billion, three-and-a-half-year overhaul. The work, called a refueling complex overhaul (RCOH), is a major mid-life job that renews the ship to serve another 20-25 years.

The Navy needs $1.5 billion to cover the work through the end of September, which is the end of fiscal 2013. While Congress granted $96 million in October to cover expenses for the first half of the fiscal year, that money runs out after March, and the Navy doesn’t want to make the move to Newport News without knowing whether it has the money to continue the work in the spring.

For now, the Lincoln will remain pierside at the naval base until Congress sorts out the funding picture.

  • with a photo: Sailors aboard the carrier Abraham Lincoln muck out a catapult trough on Jan. 28 to ready the ship for a major overhaul — now postponed by the Navy because of a lack of Congressional funding.

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