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