Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division is set to conduct a ceremonial keel-laying for the US Navy’s third Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carrier.

The ceremony for Enterprise (CVN 80) will be held on 27 August, in the presence of HII’s Newport News shipbuilders and other US Navy and local officials.

One of the ship’s sponsors Katie Ledecky will also attend the ceremony in-person, while the other sponsor Simone Biles will participate virtually.

CVN 80 will be the US Navy’s ninth vessel to be named Enterprise. It was named after the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, CVN 65, which was also constructed by HII.

In 2017, HII performed the first steel cut for the CVN 80 vessel.

According to HII, the US Navy’s Enterprise is the first aircraft carrier to be designed and built digitally.

The Gerald R Ford-class vessels have been designed to replace the US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

The first of the four vessels of Ford-class, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), was commissioned in 2017.

Other aircraft carriers, which are currently under different stages of construction, include John F Kennedy (CVN 79) and Doris Miller (CVN 81).

The company recently achieved a systems and compartment construction milestone for CVN 79 vessel.

The vessels of this class feature enhanced weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant, as well as electromagnetic catapults.

The aircraft carriers will also have improved flight deck, which will provide increased sortie rates for the aircraft and growth margin for future technologies.

The four vessels will be deployed to perform maritime security, deterrence, forward presence, sea control, power projection and humanitarian assistance operations.