The US Navy has awarded HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division a contract modification worth $393.3m.

The modification shifts the delivery strategy for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), streamlining construction and enhancing ship capability.

HII has announced that its Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division has received contract modifications from the US Navy worth $393.3M. These modifications are intended to alter the delivery strategy for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class series.

According to GlobalData’s report on the “US Defence Market 2022-2027“, between 2022 and 2032, three units of the Gerald R. Ford class are expected, with an estimated contract allocation of $17.0 billion over the same period. Ten aircraft carriers of this class are expected to be part of the US fleet by 2058.

The contract modification will shift the completion of Post-Shakedown Availability work previously planned at NNS into the baseline construction contract. As a result, the delivery of John F. Kennedy to the Navy has been rescheduled for July 31, 2025. The US Navy christened the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the John F. Kennedy, in 2019.

This revised approach aims to optimize the construction process, reducing post-delivery work and enhancing the ship’s capabilities and readiness upon delivery.

Lucas Hicks, NNS Vice President for the John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) new construction aircraft carrier program, expressed the company’s collaboration with the Navy in implementing this new delivery strategy. He stated, “This strategy will decrease post-delivery work required and increase ship capability and readiness at delivery. We understand the importance of Kennedy and look forward to delivering this mission-ready capability to the Navy.”

The aircraft carrier continues the legacy of capable nuclear-powered platforms in the Ford-class series. The design incorporates various enhancements, including an improved flight deck, upgraded weapons handling systems, and a redesigned island to increase operational efficiency and reduce manpower requirements.

Additionally, the Ford class features a new nuclear power plant, expanded electrical power generation capacity, and room for future technological advancements.

In addition to the John F. Kennedy, NNS is concurrently constructing two other Ford-class aircraft carriers, namely the Enterprise (CVN 80) and the Doris Miller (CVN 81).

HII reported positive first quarter 2023 results, with revenues of $2.7bn, up 3.8% from the first quarter of 2022, driven by Newport News Shipbuilding and Mission Technologies’ growth.