USS Louisiana, last of the Ohio class to be refueled, leaves dry dock

818 days.

That’s how long the USS Louisiana submarine remained in a dry dock berth at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, as workers refueled its nuclear reactor and extended the life of the boat by 20 years.

The critical overhaul of a submarine that patrols the oceans armed with nuclear weapons was called the most comprehensive of any completed on the 18 boats of the Ohio class by shipyard leaders.

“Despite many challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, unexpected new work items, and competing shipyard priorities, the Louisiana team kept a positive attitude in support of this undocking,” said Capt. Jip Mosman, commanding officer of the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

The 560-foot-long Louisiana entered the shipyard’s dry dock 4 on Sept. 11, 2019. It emerged on Dec. 7, 2021, most of the way through what’s known as the Engineered Refueling Overhaul, or ERO.

The shipyard said the last refueling of an Ohio class vessel is also the most all-inclusive ever completed, with more than 6.5 million man-hours contributed to the project. That adds up to more than 800,000 workdays, 100,000 more than the last refueling of the shipyard of the USS Maine. Navy leaders did not disclose the cost of the Louisiana’s refueling project, but the USS Maine’s was $371 million.

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