Tag Archives: Newport News Shipbuilding

Christening of Delaware

The U.S. Navy christened the attack submarine, the future USS Delaware (SSN-791), during a 10 a.m. EDT ceremony Saturday, October 20, 2018, at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, in Newport News, Virginia.

Newport News Shipbuilding christened Virginia-class submarine Delaware
Newport News Shipbuilding christened Virginia-class submarine Delaware

The principal speaker was United States Senator Tom Carper from Delaware. Doctor Jill Biden, former second lady of the United States, will serve as the ship’s sponsor. In a time-honored Navy tradition, she christened the ship by breaking a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow and state, «In the name of the United States, I christen thee».

«Today’s christening marks an important milestone in the life of the future USS Delaware (SSN-791), moving the submarine from a mere hull number to a boat with a name and spirit», said Secretary of the U.S. Navy Richard V. Spencer. «This submarine honors the contributions and support the state of Delaware has given to our military and will stand as a testament to the increased capabilities made possible through a true partnership between the Department of the Navy and our industry teammates».

The future USS Delaware, designated SSN-791, is the seventh ship to bear the name of «The First State». The first Delaware served in the American Revolution, the second in the Quasi War with France. The third was burned to prevent her from falling into the hands of the Confederate Navy. The fourth served blockading duties through the end of the Civil War. Little is known about the fifth, other than she was a screw steamer that began life with another name before being renamed Delaware on May 15, 1869. The sixth Delaware was a battleship commissioned April 4, 1910, that served in the Atlantic and Caribbean. During World War I, she provided convoy escort and participated in allied naval exercises. She was decommissioned November 10, 1923.

The future USS Delaware (SSN-791) is the 18th Virginia-class attack submarine and the eighth and final Virginia-class Block III submarine. The ship’s construction began in September 2013 and will deliver in 2019. Delaware will provide the U.S. Navy with the capabilities required to maintain the nation’s undersea superiority well into the 21st century.

Virginia-class submarines are built to operate in the world’s littoral and deep waters while conducting anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface ship warfare; strike warfare; special operation forces support; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; irregular warfare; and mine warfare missions. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities – sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17 09-29-18 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-790 South Dakota EB 10-14-17
SSN-791 Delaware NNS 10-20-18

 

Digital Technology

An improved build strategy, which includes the use of digital technologies to improve efficiencies, has allowed Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division to reach another milestone in the construction of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79).

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Lower Bow Lift
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Lower Bow Lift

The company on Friday lowered the final piece of the ship’s underwater hull into place. The joining of the 726-ton lower bow, which includes the distinctive bulbous feature, completes the section of the ship below the waterline and extends the nuclear-powered warship an additional 122 feet/37 m.

At 1,096 feet/334 m, Kennedy’s hull is longer than three football fields.

The lower bow is more than 64 feet/19.5 m tall and 54 feet/16.5 m wide and is one of the heaviest planned steel structures, known as superlifts, to be placed on the ship. The unit consists of 84,000 square feet/7,804 square meter of tanks and chain lockers.

«This superlift completes the underwater hull of the ship and completes the erection of all of the ship’s structures from main deck down», said Lucas Hicks, Newport News’ vice president, CVN-79 carrier construction. «The lower bow superlift is another good example of how the use of technology is driving how we are building the next generation aircraft carrier. This brings us one step closer to launching the ship next year», Hicks said.

More than 3,000 shipbuilders and 2,000 suppliers from across the country are supporting the construction of Kennedy.

Kennedy’s keel was laid in 2015. The christening is planned for late 2019.

50 Percent of Kennedy

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division reached the midpoint in the construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) following the installation of one of the largest units on the ship.

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Aft Section Superlift
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) Aft Section Superlift

Weighing approximately 905 metric tons, the unit is one of the heaviest of the planned steel structures, known as superlifts, that will be joined together to make up the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class. The superlift of the aft section of the ship between the hangar bay and flight deck is 80 feet/24.4 m long, about 110 feet/33.5 m wide and four decks in height.

Combining 19 smaller units into one superlift allowed Newport News to install a majority of the outfitting equipment – grating, pumps, valves, pipe, electrical panels, mounting studs, lighting, ventilation and other components – before the structure was hoisted into the dry dock using the shipyard’s 1,050-metric ton gantry crane. This approach resulted in this work being completed 14 months earlier than it was on Ford, said Lucas Hicks, Newport News’ vice president, CVN-79 program.

«This was a game changer for us», Hicks said. «Performing higher levels of pre-outfitting represents a significant improvement in aircraft carrier construction, allowing us to build larger structures than ever before and providing greater cost savings».

«This superlift represents the future build strategy for Ford-class carriers», said Mike Butler, program director of CVN-79. «Not only did we build this superlift larger and with significantly more pre-outfitting, we managed much of the work on the deckplate with new digital project management tools as part of our Integrated Digital Shipbuilding initiative. The lessons we learned from this successful superlift will allow us to build even more similar superlifts on future ships in the Ford class».

Kennedy is scheduled to move from the dry dock to an outfitting berth in the fourth quarter of 2019, three months ahead of schedule.

 

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)

 

16th Virginia submarine

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division on June 25, 2018 delivered the newest nuclear-powered fast attack submarine to the U.S. Navy.

USS Indiana (SSN-789) was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding on June 25. Pictured during sea trials in May, the newest Virginia-class submarine will be commissioned later this year (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
USS Indiana (SSN-789) was delivered to the U.S. Navy by Newport News Shipbuilding on June 25. Pictured during sea trials in May, the newest Virginia-class submarine will be commissioned later this year (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

The future USS Indiana (SSN-789) is the 16th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming agreement with General Dynamics Electric Boat and the eighth delivered by Newport News.

«We are proud to deliver Indiana to the Navy», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «For the nearly 4,000 shipbuilders who participated in construction of the boat, there is nothing more important than knowing that this vessel will support the Navy’s missions».

Indiana, which began construction in September 2012, successfully completed sea trials earlier this month. The vessel will be commissioned later this year.

Virginia-class submarines are built for a broad spectrum of open-ocean and littoral missions to replace the Navy’s Los Angeles-class submarines as they are retired. Virginia-class submarines incorporate dozens of new technologies and innovations that increase firepower, maneuverability and stealth and significantly enhance their warfighting capabilities. These submarines are capable of supporting multiple mission areas and can operate at submerged speeds of more than 25 knots/28 mph/46.3 km/h for months at a time.

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry. For more than a century, HII’s Newport News and Ingalls shipbuilding divisions in Virginia and Mississippi have built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. HII’s Technical Solutions division provides a wide range of professional services through its Fleet Support, Integrated Missions Solutions, Nuclear & Environmental, and Oil & Gas groups. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 39,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Initial Sea Trials

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has successfully completed the initial sea trials on the newest Virginia-class submarine, USS Indiana (SSN-789).

The Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) transits the Chesapeake Bay during its first set of sea trials, referred to as alpha trials (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
The Virginia-class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) transits the Chesapeake Bay during its first set of sea trials, referred to as alpha trials (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

The initial round of sea trials, known as alpha trials, provides an opportunity to test all systems and components. It includes submerging for the first time and high-speed maneuvers while on the surface and submerged.

«Sea trials is a significant milestone and the first major test of submarine’s capabilities at sea», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «We are pleased with how Indiana performed and look forward to continuing our testing program before we deliver the boat to the U.S. Navy later this year».

Construction of Indiana began in 2012. The boat – the 16th Virginia-class submarine built as part of the teaming partnership with General Dynamics Electric Boat – was christened in April 2017.

The submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) departs for its first set of sea trials with two HII-built aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station (Photo by John Whalen/HII)
The submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) departs for its first set of sea trials with two HII-built aircraft carriers visible in the distance at Norfolk Naval Station (Photo by John Whalen/HII)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 10-29-16 Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16 03-17-18
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

U.S. Navy Virginia class submarine USS Indiana (SSN-789) completes first sea trials

Keel of Montana

On May 16, 2018, Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division today authenticated the keel of the 21st Virginia-class submarine, USS Montana (SSN-794).

Jacob McNulty (far right) displays the keel authentication plate he welded at today’s ceremony. Also present for the ceremony were (left to right) Commander Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Montana; Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
Jacob McNulty (far right) displays the keel authentication plate he welded at today’s ceremony. Also present for the ceremony were (left to right) Commander Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit Montana; Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation; former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

«This is an important day for us», said Dave Bolcar, Newport News’ vice president of submarine construction. «Not only are we celebrating a milestone in the construction of Montana, we also are recognizing the hard work of the 4,000 shipbuilders who are supporting the construction of newest Virginia-class attack submarine».

In keeping with a U.S. Navy tradition, former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, the ship’s sponsor, chalked her initials onto a steel plate. Mariah Gladstone, a member of the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, performed a Native American blessing.

«It’s a true honor to meet the commander, crew and shipbuilders who are hard at work shaping this amazing submarine to serve our nation», Jewell said. «We celebrate the tradition of the keel laying and look forward to blessing her, christening her and ensuring that the natural beauty, rich culture and spirit of the great state of Montana accompany the ship and crew throughout her lifetime».

Jacob McNulty, a welder at Newport News who was born in Montana, traced Jewell’s inscription on the plate, which signified that the keel of Montana is «truly and fairly laid». The steel plate will be permanently affixed to the submarine.

«The keel laying marks the first milestone for the crew in the construction process of Montana», said Commander Mike Delaney, commanding officer of the pre-commissioning unit. «We are excited to begin this journey and bring the Montana to life over the next few years».

Construction of Montana began in May 2015. The boat is approximately 46 percent complete and is expected to be delivered in late 2020. Two of its crew members hail from the state of Montana.

Jacob McNulty welds Sally Jewell’s initials onto the keel authentication plate of the submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
Jacob McNulty welds Sally Jewell’s initials onto the keel authentication plate of the submarine USS Montana (SSN-794) (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G* nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles Two 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)

* – Knolls Atomic Power Laboratories

 

Nuclear Submarine Lineup

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon EB Under Construction
SSN-794 Montana NNS Under Construction
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB Under Construction
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS On Order
SSN-797 Iowa EB On Order
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS On Order
SSN-799 Idaho EB On Order
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order

 

Preserving Peace,
Prepared for War

The U.S. Navy with assistance from the submarine’s sponsor Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, commissioned and brought to life the newest Virginia class submarine, USS Washington (SSN-787), during a ceremony on board Naval Station Norfolk, October 7.

USS Washington Brought to Life, Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk
USS Washington Brought to Life, Commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk

Washington, named in honor of the 42nd state, is the 14th Virginia-class, fast-attack submarine to join the U.S. Navy’s operational fleet. Elisabeth Mabus expressed how proud she was of the crew and their families.

«I know, though you are all eager to set out on the Washington, this like all naval service will requires you to be away from your families for long stretches, so thank you to the families», said Mabus. «In a very real sense you are plank owners of this ship as well».

Mabus gave the order to «man our ship and bring her to life» before the crew of about 130 men ran across the brow, onto the vessel.

Washington is the fourth of eight Block III Virginia-class submarines to be built. The Block III submarines are built with new Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT) designed to lower costs and increase missile-firing payload possibilities. The first 10 Block I and Block II Virginia class submarines have 12 individual 21-inch/53.34 cm diameter vertical launch tubes able to fire Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles (TLAMS). The Block III submarines are built with two-larger 87-inch/2.2 m diameter tubes able to house six TLAMS each.

«We won’t know what challenges we will face as a nation in 10, 15 or 20 years, but we know because of the work being done now at Newport News and Electric Boat and by the Sailors who call this ship home, USS Washington will be prepared for whatever is to come», said Mabus.

USS Washington (SSN-787) commanding officer, Commander Gabriel Cavazos, highlighted the Washington’s capability to dominate the undersea domain and enable military success in any engagement.

«As I have told the crew on many occasions, they are the most important component of the ship. They give the ship its personality and warfighting spirit. Without the crew, Washington would not be the warfighting platform she was built to be; however, combine the two, and, together, we are the Blackfish», said Cavazos.

«Today USS Washington is alive and stands ready for mission. Thank you for being here to celebrate this momentous occasion with us», said Cavazos.

Washington is the fourth U.S. Navy ship, and first submarine, to be named honoring the State of Washington. The previous three ships were an armored cruiser, (ACR-11), which served from 1905 to 1916, the battleship (BB-47) a Colorado-class battleship launched in 1921 and sunk as a gunnery target in 1924 after her construction was halted, and the battleship (BB-56) credited with sinking more enemy tonnage than any other U.S. Navy battleship during World War II, serving from 1941 to 1947.

USS Washington (SSN-787) is a flexible, multi-mission platform designed to carry out the seven core competencies of the submarine force: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW); Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW); delivery of special operations forces; strike warfare; irregular warfare; Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); and mine warfare. Their inherent stealth, endurance, mobility, and firepower directly enable them to support five of the six maritime strategy core capabilities: sea control, power projection, forward presence, maritime security and deterrence.

The submarine is 377 feet/114.8 m long, has a 34-foot/10.36 m beam, and will be able to dive to depths greater than 800+ feet/244+ m and operate at speeds in excess of 25 knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h submerged. It will operate for over 30 years without ever refueling.

Construction on Washington began September 2011; the submarine’s keel was authenticated during a ceremony on November 22, 2014; and the submarine was christened during a ceremony March 5, 2016.

The submarine's sponsor was Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus
The submarine’s sponsor was Elisabeth Mabus, daughter of the 75th Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus

 

General Characteristics

Builder General Dynamics Electric Boat Division and Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. – Newport News Shipbuilding
Date Deployed October 3, 2004
Propulsion One GE PWR S9G nuclear reactor, two turbines, one shaft; 40,000 hp/30 MW
Length 377 feet/114.8 m
Beam 33 feet/10.0584 m
Hull Diameter 34 feet/10.3632 m
Displacement Approximately 7,800 tons/7,925 metric tons submerged
Speed 25+ knots/28+ mph/46.3+ km/h
Diving Depth 800+ feet/244+ m
Crew 132: 15 officers; 117 enlisted
Armament: Tomahawk missiles 2 × 87-in/2.2 m Virginia Payload Tubes (VPTs), each capable of launching 6 Tomahawk cruise missiles
Armament: MK-48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) Mod 7 heavyweight torpedoes 4 torpedo tubes
Weapons MK-60 CAPTOR (Encapsulated Torpedo) mines, advanced mobile mines and UUVs (Unmanned Underwater Vehicles)
USS Washington is the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the third commissioned Navy ship named for the State of Washington (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released)
USS Washington is the U.S. Navy’s 14th Virginia-Class attack submarine and the third commissioned Navy ship named for the State of Washington (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeffrey M. Richardson/Released)

 

Block III

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-784 North Dakota EB 11-2-13 10-25-14 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-785 John Warner NNS 09-06-14 08-01-15 Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-786 Illinois EB 10-10-15 10-29-16 Groton, Connecticut
SSN-787 Washington NNS 03-05-16 10-07-17  Norfolk, Virginia
SSN-788 Colorado EB 12-03-16
SSN-789 Indiana NNS 04-29-17
SSN-790 South Dakota EB Under Construction
SSN-791 Delaware NNS Under Construction

 

Pre-Commissioning Unit Washington (SSN-787) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk after completing sea trials. Washington is scheduled to be commissioned October 7, 2017 at Naval Station Norfolk

First-Cut-of-Steel

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) on August 24 cut a 35-ton steel plate at its Newport News Shipbuilding division to kick off advance construction of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80). The steel plate will become part of the foundation of Enterprise, the ninth U.S. Navy ship to bear the legendary name.

Newport News Shipbuilding hosted a first-cut-of-steel event to kick off construction of the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-80). The steel was cut using an ESAB Avenger Burning Machine, and the order was given by Ship’s Sponsors and U.S. Olympians Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky (Photo by John Whalen/HII)
Newport News Shipbuilding hosted a first-cut-of-steel event to kick off construction of the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-80). The steel was cut using an ESAB Avenger Burning Machine, and the order was given by Ship’s Sponsors and U.S. Olympians Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky (Photo by John Whalen/HII)

Ship’s sponsors and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky gave the order to cut the steel during a ceremony that marks the first construction milestone in the life of the ship. Other ceremony participants included Representative Bobby Scott, Democrat-Virginia; Rear Admiral Brian K. Antonio, program executive officer, aircraft carriers; shipbuilders and their families; and representatives of the recently decommissioned Enterprise (CVN-65).

«Much like U.S. athletes who represent the United States around the world displaying patriotism, pride and strength, so do the ships of our nation», Biles said. «My father served in the U.S. Air Force for over 21 years and taught me discipline, determination and dedication to achieve my goals, and these same values are on display as these advanced ships are built here».

Newport News is performing the work under an advance fabrication contract the shipyard was awarded earlier this year. Award of the USS Enterprise CVN-80 detail design and construction contract is anticipated in 2018. Construction is currently underway on the second ship of the class, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), with more than 50 percent of the structural units already erected.

«We really, truly would not be able to compete at the level that we do without the freedom that we have, and that’s something we promise we will never take for granted», Ledecky said. «We’re excited to cut this steel today and start this process».

Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin said CVN-80’s construction will incorporate greater innovation and efficiency. «With this ship, we will ‘boldly go where no one has gone before,’» she said. «She will be built using digital technology rather than traditional paper work packages and drawings. We will build more of this ship indoors, in new facilities so that our people have more opportunities to work under cover and out of the weather. CVN-80 will revolutionize how we build ships, just as her predecessor, CVN-65 – the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier – revolutionized our industry».

USS Enterprise (CVN-80) will be the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. Designed to replace Nimitz-class carriers, the Ford-class features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for future technologies. Each Ford-class ship will operate with a smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier and will provide $4 billion in total ownership cost savings for the U.S. Navy. Aircraft carriers provide sovereign, mobile U.S. territory and are a visible symbol of U.S. power. They are the centerpiece of our nation’s security strategy and support and protect the global economy through the protection of sea lanes around the world.

Ship's Sponsors and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles (left) and Katie Ledecky (center) join Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin in signing a 35-ton steel plate that will be part of the foundation of the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80) (Photo by Matt Hildreth/HII)
Ship’s Sponsors and U.S. Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles (left) and Katie Ledecky (center) join Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin in signing a 35-ton steel plate that will be part of the foundation of the new Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-80) (Photo by Matt Hildreth/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+

 

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)

 

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