I know, I know—these types of maneuvers actually have a purpose besides joyriding, like navigation, stress tests and defense tactics. But that doesn’t stop it from looking like a ton of fun.
The USS Abraham Lincoln, a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, recently departed Naval Station Norfolk in order to test carrier qualifications and flight deck certifications, which are important things, if you want your carrier to “work.”
Commissioned in 1989 and designed to last more than 50 years, the carrier finished its its mid-life refueling and complex overhaul last month. A process which lasts four years, it not only switches out the fuel in its nuclear reactor, but also many of the systems onboard. It’s a lot, as the Navy Times notes:
The carrier Lincoln’s RCOH began in March 2013 and required more than 2.5 million man-hours of labor, according to the Navy. Upgraded features include repairing, replacing and modernizing tanks, the hull, shafting, propellers, rudders, piping, ventilation, electrical, combat and aviation support systems. At the peak of the renovation, 4,000 shipbuilders were assigned to the project.
It will also be the first Nimitz-class carrier able to accommodate the F-35C Lightning II, which despite its troubled development is going to end up with the Navy sooner or later.