NORFOLK - The Navy awarded a $2.6B contract Friday to Huntington Ingalls Industries - Newport News Shipbuilding for the Refueling and Complex Overhaul of USS Abraham Lincoln.

The award of the contract had been delayed six weeks due to the delay in passage of the FY13 Defense Appropriations Bill. During the 6 weeks, the aircraft carrier waited at the Norfolk Naval Station to see if the money would become available.

The ship docked at N.News Shipbuilding on Thursday.

The Navy says it is making every effort to not delay work scheduled for the USS Enterprise which is being deactivated or the USS George Washington which also is to be overhauled. The work would require the same drydock that the Lincoln is using.

The contract includes a performance incentive that will be earned if delivery of the ship back to the Navy happens before mid-October 2016 and if cost performance is at or below target cost.

During the overhaul, the Lincoln will have it's reactors refueled, it's infrastructure and systems repaired and upgraded, and it's combat and communication systems modernized.

The Abraham Lincoln is the fifth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to undergo an overhall. She will be the first aircraft carrier to receive the Joint Strike Fighter modifications. This will enable the ship to operate the new F-35C Lightning II JSF when it returns to the fleet in 2017.

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