The U.S. Navy will delay the refueling of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln for an unknown period because of the uncertain fiscal environment due to the ongoing legislative struggle, the service told Congress in a Friday message obtained by USNI News.The article suggests the Navy is planning other postponements or deferrals of carrier maintenance. With something resembling an arms race in aircraft carriers taking place among Pacific Rim powers, these announcements by the Navy might be the service equivalent of the National Park Service threatening to close Grand Canyon National Park (the country having gotten along despite the canonical Washington Monument being closed for the past year and a half).
Class repairs midway through the expected 50-year service life of a carrier take time.
The Navy had budgeted $92 million for the Lincoln refueling in its FY 2012 budget.The overhaul will take four years. I suspect that there'd be more urgency if carriers served a purpose other than giving admirals large flagships.
Each Nimitz-class carrier undergoes a refueling and complete overhaul at the halfway point in its 50-year service life.
Franklin D. Roosevelt's navy brought 29 new fleet carriers and 122 new escort carriers on-line and eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy as a strategic force in less time. Abraham Lincoln's navy built Monitor in under 100 days, augmented the fleet over the next few years, and cut off rebel commerce in less time. Some of the later monitors remained in commission for close to half a century, presumably without any four-year overhauls.