Tag Archives: Gerald R. Ford class

Upper Bow Lift

The installation of the final piece of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy’s (CVN-79) flight deck is yet another example of how Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) is using transformative construction methods and the latest industrial technology to improve the way the ship is being built.

Huntington Ingalls Industries Completes Flight Deck on Aircraft Carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) (Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII)

The addition of the upper bow section at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division is one of the last steel structural units, known as a superlift, to be placed on Kennedy. It was built using digital technology, such as visual work instructions to install piping in the upper bow on the final assembly platen instead of on the ship.

«We are very pleased with the progress being made on Kennedy as we inch closer to christening the ship later this year», said Mike Butler, Newport News’ CVN-79 program director. «The upper bow is the last superlift that completes the ship’s primary hull. This milestone is testament to the significant build strategy changes we have made – and to the men and women of Newport News Shipbuilding who do what no one else in the world can do».

Weighing 780 tons, the superlift took 18 months to build.

Kennedy is being built with an improved build strategy that includes the increased use of digital tools to build superlifts that are much larger and more complete at ship erect than on prior carriers. Leveraging lessons learned and key build strategy changes, Kennedy is on track to be built with considerably fewer man-hours than the first ship in its class, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).

More than 3,200 shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers from across the country are supporting the construction of Kennedy. The ship is in the early stages of its testing program and is on schedule to launch during the fourth quarter.

The christening is planned for late 2019.

The 780-ton upper bow unit was lowered into the dry dock on Wednesday and placed on the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) (Photo by Ashley Cowan/HII)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013 07-22-2017 Norfolk, Virginia
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
CVN-81

 

Digital Technology

Digital technology marked the exact location where Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) landed the island onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) during a ceremony on May 29, 2019, at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The event coincided with the birthday of the ship’s namesake, former President John F. Kennedy.

HII landed the island onto the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) during a ceremony at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division on May 29, 2019 (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

«Landing the island is a key milestone in preparing the ship for launch in the fall», said Jennifer Boykin, president of Newport News Shipbuilding. «Reaching this milestone on schedule demonstrates the significant lessons learned we are applying to this ship’s construction, as well as the strides we’ve made to use new technologies to gain efficiencies».

The 588-ton island, which will serve as the command-and-control center for flight deck operations, is one of the last steel structures, known as a superlift, to be placed onto the ship, signifying that Kennedy is one step closer to being launched.

The ship is being built in sections with more outfitted equipment – valves, pipe, electrical panels, mounting studs, lighting, ventilation and other components – than any other aircraft carrier built at Newport News. The use of new technologies, including digital work instructions that provide shipbuilders digital 3-D data versus traditional paper drawings, has increased efficiency and productivity.

With the island, Kennedy is more than 90% structurally complete. The island stands 72 feet/22 m above the flight deck and is 56 feet/17 m long and 33 feet/10 m wide.

In keeping with the Navy tradition, Capt. Todd Marzano, the ship’s prospective commanding officer, placed his aviator wings underneath the island during the ceremony. This custom, known as mast-stepping, recognizes an ancient maritime custom of placing a coin at the base of a mast of a ship under construction to bring good fortune.

«It’s an absolute honor and privilege to be selected as the first commanding officer of the new aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, and I’m truly humbled to be joining such an impressive team of highly talented shipbuilders who have worked so hard to make this historic event possible», Marzano said. «Landing the island on the flight deck is a significant construction milestone, bringing John F. Kennedy one very important step closer to being commissioned into the fleet, where its value to our nation cannot be overstated».

Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy’s daughter, serves as the ship’s sponsor. She could not participate in today’s event but shared a 1964 silver Kennedy half dollar that Marzano placed under the island house.

«The island landing is an important milestone in the life of this ship», Kennedy wrote in a letter. «I know how proud my father would be of the ship that will bear his name and the patriotism and dedication of all who sail in her».

Boykin placed a Newport News Shipbuilding president’s coin, which was designed to recognize dedication, service and leadership – three qualities that the ship and its crew will demonstrate when they set sail in our nation’s defense, she explained.

The other ceremony participants – James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; Rear Admiral Roy J. Kelley, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic; and Rear Admiral Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers – also placed coins.

A time capsule containing all of items placed under the island will be welded into the ship at a later time.

Kennedy is scheduled to move from the dry dock to an outfitting berth in the fourth quarter of 2019, three months ahead of schedule. The ship’s christening is planned for later this year.

More than 4,500 shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers from across the country are supporting the construction of Kennedy.

New First-In-Class

The Navy commissioned its newest aircraft carrier, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, July 22, at Naval Station Norfolk.

Navy commissioned new first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford
Navy commissioned new first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is the lead ship of the new Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years and will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers when the ship is commissioned.

CVN-78 honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the U.S. government and to the nation. During World War II, Ford attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy, serving on the light carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26). Released from active duty in February 1946, Ford remained in the Naval Reserve until 1963. Ford was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948, where he served until President Nixon tapped him to become Vice President in 1973. Ford became president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and served in the country’s highest office from 1974-1977.

President Donald J. Trump delivered the ceremony’s principal address. Susan Ford Bales, Ford’s daughter, served as the ship’s sponsor.

USS Gerald R. Ford – Landing and Launching of Aircraft

«The nation’s going to be very proud of USS Gerald R. Ford», said Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson. «I am incredibly thankful for the shipyard workers and Sailors who worked amazingly hard to bring this mighty ship to life. This Saturday will be a huge day for our Navy and our nation. The new technology and warfighting capabilities that Ford brings will transform naval warfare, making us a more lethal Navy. The increased combat power will enable new ways to combine information, ships, aircraft and undersea forces, changing how we operate and fight».

The Navy plans to spend $43 billion developing and building the three new Ford-class ships – Ford, the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), and the future USS Enterprise (CVN-80). Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Gerald R. Ford class is designed with significant quality-of-life improvements and reduced maintenance. These innovations are expected to improve operational availability and capability compared with Nimitz-class carriers.

The Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology such as a new reactor plant, propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, Dual Band Radar and integrated warfare systems. Compared to Nimitz-class carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers have more than 23 new or modified systems.

MV-22 Ospreys assigned to the U.S. Presidential Helicopter Squadron land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during the ship's commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)
MV-22 Ospreys assigned to the U.S. Presidential Helicopter Squadron land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during the ship’s commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew J. Sneeringer)

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013 07-22-2017 Norfolk, Virginia
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
Badge
Badge

50 Percent
structurally complete

On June 22, 2017, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) grew about 70 feet/21.3 m in length with the addition of the lower stern. The lower stern was lifted into place at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division, where the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier is now 50 percent structurally complete.

Shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding lifted the lower stern of CVN-79 into place
Shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding lifted the lower stern of CVN-79 into place

Like Ford, Kennedy is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form larger structural units (called «superlifts»), equipment is then installed, and the large superlifts are lifted into the dry dock using the company’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane.

«This is a significant milestone in the ship’s construction schedule», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and USS Enterprise (CVN-80) aircraft carrier construction. «We are halfway through lifting the units onto the ship, and many of the units are larger and nearly all are more complete than the CVN-78 lifts were. This is one of many lessons learned from the construction of the lead ship that are helping to reduce construction costs and improve efficiencies on Kennedy».

After several days of preparations, the 932-metric ton lower stern lift took about an hour to complete, thanks to a team of about 25 shipbuilders – from riggers and the crane operator to shipwrights and ship fitters. The lower stern consists of 30 individual units and includes the ship’s rudders, steering gear rooms and electrical power distribution room. The carrier is on track to be completed with 445 lifts, which is 51 fewer than Ford and 149 fewer than USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the last Nimitz-class carrier.

The lower stern, which weights 932 metric tons, consists of 30 individual units and includes the ship’s rudders, steering gear rooms and electrical power distribution room
The lower stern, which weights 932 metric tons, consists of 30 individual units and includes the ship’s rudders, steering gear rooms and electrical power distribution room

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program

Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Reaches 50 Percent Structural Completion
Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Reaches 50 Percent Structural Completion

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Lower Stern Lift

Advance fabrication

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) was awarded a $25.5 million modification to an existing advance planning contract in support of advance fabrication of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80) on Tuesday, February 01, 2017. The initial structural fabrication and shop work on the third Gerald R. Ford-class carrier will be performed at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division through March 2018.

Rendering of the third ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers, USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
Rendering of the third ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers, USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

«This award authorizes us to begin fabrication of structural components, sub-components, sub-units and pre-assemblies in our manufacturing shops to support the 2018 construction of Enterprise», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and USS Enterprise (CVN-80) construction. «This is an important step in getting this next Gerald R. Ford-class ship off to a great start, as it allows us to continue implementation of lessons learned, and the initial steel work will allow us to utilize our aircraft carrier steel production line in an efficient manner».

Huntington Ingalls Industries shipbuilders have captured thousands of lessons learned and developed new build approaches during construction of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), most of which are being implemented as cost-saving initiatives in building the second ship in the class, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). These initiatives will also apply to USS Enterprise (CVN-80), and Huntington Ingalls Industries will work with the U.S. Navy to identify additional cost-saving initiatives for future Ford-class carrier construction.

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

 

Superlift to Kennedy

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced today that its Newport News Shipbuilding division lifted a 704-metric ton unit into Dry Dock 12, where the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is taking shape. The superlift is part of an improved build strategy implemented on the second ship of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class, resulting in superlifts erected at a higher state of outfitting completion.

On January 17, Newport News Shipbuilders lifted a 704-metric-ton unit into Dry Dock 12, where the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is taking shape (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
On January 17, Newport News Shipbuilders lifted a 704-metric-ton unit into Dry Dock 12, where the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is taking shape (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

«For Kennedy, increased pre-outfitting puts into practice one of many lessons learned from Gerald R. Ford», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, CVN-79 construction. «This superlift will erect the first portion of hangar bay».

The unit, which has been under construction since August 2015, is made up of 22 smaller units and comprises small equipment and machinery rooms, berthing, and other quality-of-life spaces, such as the barber shop and post office. It measures about 80 feet/24.4 m long and 105 feet/32 m wide. Like Ford, Kennedy is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units, equipment is installed, and the large units are lifted into the dry dock using the shipyard’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane.

Kennedy is about 25 percent complete. The carrier is on track to be completed with 445 lifts, which is 51 fewer than Ford and 149 less than USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the last Nimitz-class carrier. About 140 lifts have been placed in the dock and joined together since the ship’s keel was laid in August 2015. Kennedy is scheduled to be launched in 2020 and deliver to the Navy in 2022, when it will replace USS Nimitz (CVN-68).

 

General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Superlift

 

Ships

Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)

 

John F. Kennedy

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) received a $3.35 billion contract award for the detail design and construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class of carriers. The work will be performed at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The company also received a $941 million modification to an existing construction preparation contract to continue material procurement and manufacturing in support of the ship.

A composite photo illustration representing the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
A composite photo illustration representing the Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

Contract work includes aircraft carrier construction, ship design activities, engineering services, procurement of materials and hardware to support construction and logistics activities.

«These awards are important, not only for the shipbuilders at Newport News Shipbuilding, but for the thousands of suppliers nationwide who provide the steel, pipe, cable, paint and equipment that goes into this cutting-edge defense platform – and for the sailors who will sail her», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News Shipbuilding’s vice president, John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) carrier construction. «We look forward to continuing to implement lessons learned from the first-of-the-class ship, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), in the construction of Kennedy and delivering the next great carrier to the Navy».

John F. Kennedy’s first steel was cut in December 2010. Since then, more than 450 of the ship’s 1,100 structural units have been constructed under a construction preparation contract that will be used to start erecting the hull. The ship’s keel-laying ceremony is scheduled for August 22.

John F. Kennedy will continue the legacy of highly capable U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier platforms. Ford-class enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie-generation rates. The Ford class also features new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power-generation capacity, allowance for future technologies, and reduced workload for sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and reduced operating costs for the Navy.

This massive building block set will become an aircraft carrier - John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
This massive building block set will become an aircraft carrier – John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

 

General Characteristics

Builder Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+
Ships USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78);USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
The carrier, under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the second Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second U.S. Navy carrier named for the 35th U. S. President
The carrier, under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, is the second Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the second U.S. Navy carrier named for the 35th U. S. President