Huntington Ingalls (NYSE:HII) won a $2.6 billion Department of Defense contract with the Navy on Friday. The "cost-plus-incentive fee contract" hires Huntington to perform a refueling and complex overhaul, or RCOH, of the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. The award of the contract was made possible by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2013 recently passed in Congress.

RCOH refers to nuclear-powered aircraft carriers' need to be refueled with nuclear fuel about halfway through their 50-year expected service lives. The Lincoln, having been commissioned in late 1989, is just about at the 25-year mark already.

To date, only five U.S. aircraft carriers have undergone this procedure, which ordinarily takes three years to complete. Accordingly, Huntington is expected to complete work on the RCOH by November 2016.