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Pentagon budget 2024: US Navy requests USD3.9 billion for major aircraft carrier work

The US Navy's proposed fiscal year 2024 budget includes funding for Ford-class aircraft carrier John F Kennedy. (Michael Fabey)

The US Navy (USN) fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget request includes USD3.9 billion for Ford-class aircraft carrier construction and Nimitz-class Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) life extension work, according to USN and Pentagon budget documents released 13 March.

The FY 2024 request represents a decrease of about USD462.8 million compared to last year's funding, documents show.

The proposed FY 2024 spending plan includes USD2.7 billion for Ford-class ships, which funds continued construction for three carriers John F Kennedy (CVN 79), Enterprise (CVN 80), and Doris Miller (CVN 81).

CVN 80 and CVN 81 comprise a two-carrier procurement contract, awarded in FY 2019. Funding includes outfitting, training equipment, and continued development of ship systems.

The lead ship for the class, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), is now undergoing certification qualification for its first initial deployment slated for later this year.

The USD1.2 billion requested in the FY 2024 proposal for RCOH is meant to fund advance procurement of long-lead items for the USS Harry S Truman (CVN 75), with the RCOH scheduled to begin in FY 2025. The FY 2024 request also funds cost to complete RCOH for USS John C Stennis (CVN 74).

During the RCOH, the nuclear fuel and obsolete parts are replaced, major systems are modernised, and corrosion damage is repaired. Nimitz-class aircraft carriers are designed for a 50-year life span, and the RCOH is performed approximately midway through the ship's lifespan.

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