The US Navy has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for the design and engineering of an advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

Under the $186.6m contract, the company’s shipbuilding sector will provide additional design, planning and system integration services along with the analysis to support CVN 78 construction.

Northrop Grumman aircraft carrier construction programme vice-president Mike Shawcross said the company would produce instructions for the assembly of a 3D design ship.

Gerald R Ford, the lead ship of the future US Navy supercarriers, incorporates advanced weapons handling systems, new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power generation capacity and the capability to allow future technologies.

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By GlobalData

In September 2008, the US Navy awarded a $5.1bn, seven-year contract for the detailed design and construction of CVN-78.

The carrier with a full-load displacement capacity of around 101,600t can carry more than 75 aircraft, and cruises at a top speed in excess of 30kt.

The CVN 78 is scheduled to be delivered to the navy in 2015.