Tag Archives: USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

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)

 

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

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)

 

Construction of
the carrier

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) announced on September 12 that its Newport News Shipbuilding division placed a 900-ton superlift into dry dock, continuing construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). As Kennedy begins to take shape in the dry dock, the ship’s cost and construction schedule continue on track with significant improvement over its predecessor, the first-of-class Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).

Newport News Shipbuilding placed a 900-ton superlift into dry dock, continuing construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Nearly 90 lifts have been placed in the dock and joined together since the ship’s keel was laid in August 2015 (Photo by John Whalen)
Newport News Shipbuilding placed a 900-ton superlift into dry dock, continuing construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Nearly 90 lifts have been placed in the dock and joined together since the ship’s keel was laid in August 2015 (Photo by John Whalen)

«We continue to focus on reducing cost, and we are pleased with our progress», said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president, CVN-79 carrier construction. «The incorporation of lessons learned from CVN-78 on to CVN-79 – and major build strategy changes to construct the ship a different way – are having a significant impact on our construction efficiencies, just as we anticipated they would».

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.

Kennedy 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. «Fewer lifts to the dock means we’re building larger superlifts with more outfitting installed prior to erecting the sections in dock», said Mike Butler, Newport News’ Kennedy construction program director. «This translates to man-hour savings because the work is being accomplished off the ship in a more efficient work environment».

Close to 90 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).

Huntington Ingalls Industries is America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of engineering, manufacturing and management services to the nuclear energy, oil and gas markets. 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. Headquartered in Newport News, Virginia, HII employs nearly 35,000 people operating both domestically and internationally.

 

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

Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), on August 22 celebrated the keel laying of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), the second ship of the Gerald R. Ford class. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the ship’s namesake, the 35th President of the United States, is the ship’s sponsor. She declared the keel «truly and fairly laid» via video to signify the ceremonial start of construction.

Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)
Newport News Shipbuilding Celebrates the Keel-Laying of Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79)

«The aircraft carrier came of age in a time of conflict», Caroline said. «It was untested, and the capabilities it brought were questioned. Since those early days, the carrier has come to be recognized as a symbol of peace, strength and freedom».

Caroline’s video was introduced by her cousin, Representative Joseph Kennedy, Democrat-Massachusetts. Other ceremony participants included Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; Representative Randy Forbes, Republican-Virginia; Representative Bobby Scott, Democrat-Virginia; Vice Admiral William Hilarides; Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Navy Sean Stackley; Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of CVA-67, the first aircraft carrier to bear the name John F. Kennedy; and Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin.

During the ceremony, Caroline’s initials were welded onto a steel plate by Leon Walston, a Newport News welder from Massachusetts. The plate will be permanently affixed to the ship, signifying the sponsor’s enduring relationship with the shipbuilders and crew.

In his remarks, Stackley expressed the significance of aircraft carriers, calling upon shipbuilders to recognize the importance of what they build. «They are our nation’s great instruments of security and … of goodwill», he said. «In times of crisis, they are the first to respond, and when called upon, they will deliver the final word in the bidding of our nation. So let this great purpose serve as a constant reminder – as inspiration to you, the men and women of Newport News Shipbuilding – that shipbuilding is not just what you do; it is who you are. And that building great ships – it is not just your tradition; it is your duty».

USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is the second aircraft carrier in the Ford Class

Governor McAuliffe emphasized the importance of John F. Kennedy’s future presence in the U.S. Navy fleet. «President John F. Kennedy was an inspiration to all of us», he said, «so it is only fitting today that we now have a U.S. President who now will have two aircraft carriers named after him».

Representative Joseph Kennedy spoke of the original USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) and its legacy that will continue with the new aircraft carrier. «USS John F. Kennedy demonstrated strength to our enemies and support for our allies», he said. «Today, as we lay the keel of CVN-79, the next USS John F. Kennedy, we begin construction on a ship with the same mission and the same spirit, but with new capabilities and a new generation».

Mulherin spoke of the shipbuilders constructing USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), highlighting their commitment to ethics once emphasized by President Kennedy. «While this aircraft carrier that we lay the keel for today will serve as a tangible legacy of our nation’s 35th President, so too will the people behind the steel», he said. «When we say the greatest shipbuilders in the world work right here, it isn’t just because we build the most sophisticated ships known to man. It is also because of the way in which we build them. Our shipbuilders demonstrate ethics, integrity and courage every day».

John F. Kennedy will be the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the 35th President. Crew members who served on the first USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) attended and were recognized during the ceremony. To conclude the event, Yates, the first commanding officer of CVA-67, signaled crane operators to lift the aircraft carrier’s engine room No. 2 unit into the dry dock while more than 1,500 guests watched.

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

 

Quick Facts about CVN-79

Kennedy is the 2nd ship of the Ford class.

At an official naming ceremony at the JFK Library on May 29, 2011, U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced that the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier CVN-79 would be called the USS John F. Kennedy. The announcement was made on what would have been the 94th birthday of President John F. Kennedy.

Since the first cut of steel in 2010, more than 450 of the ship’s 1,100 structural units have been constructed, and more than 60 percent of the total ship’s material funding has been committed to vendors.

CVN-79 marks the second aircraft carrier to be named for the late president. The first, a conventionally-powered carrier, served from 1968 to 2007 and was also built by Newport News Shipbuilding.

Shipbuilders have captured 60,000 lessons-learned from the seven-year process of building Gerald R. Ford, many that are already being implemented as cost-saving initiatives in building John F. Kennedy.

Caroline Kennedy smashes a bottle of American sparking wine across the bow of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in 1967 (Image courtesy of the Daily Press)
Caroline Kennedy smashes a bottle of American sparking wine across the bow of USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67) in 1967 (Image courtesy of the Daily Press)

 

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+
Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Also pictured (left to right) are Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Representative Joseph Kennedy (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)
Leon Walston, a Newport News Shipbuilding welder from Massachusetts, displays the welded initials of Caroline Kennedy, the sponsor of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79). Also pictured (left to right) are Rear Admiral Earl Yates, the first commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVA-67); Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin; Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe; and Representative Joseph Kennedy (Photo by Chris Oxley/HII)

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