John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) unit

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has received an extension to the previously awarded construction preparation contract for the second Gerald R Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, John F Kennedy (CVN 79).

Under the $1.29bn follow-on contract, HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division will complete an additional 343 structural units and purchase the majority of the remaining material for the ship, including items such as valves, controllers, pumps and raw materials.

Newport News’ CVN 79 construction vice president Mike Shawcross said that the additional funding allows the company to maintain positive momentum with savings initiatives and pre-construction in advance of the construction contract that is expected later this year.

"In addition to increasing the number of structural units under contract, it allows the CVN 79 procurement team to place purchase orders for most of the remaining material for the ship, which helps us meet our efficiency objectives through economic order quantities and consolidated buys," Shawcross added.

"It also ensures that lessons learned, best practices and production efficiencies from building Gerald R. Ford can continue to be implemented at the most optimal time, providing a smooth transition to the second ship of the Ford class."

In preparation for construction of CVN 79, the company will provide services and material including necessary research studies; engineering; design; related development efforts; advance planning; advance procurement for detail design and procurement of material; advance construction; lifecycle support; logistics data and other data.

Fitted with improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island to increase aircraft sortie-generation rates, the aircraft carrier will feature nuclear power plants and increased electrical power-generation capacity.

Work under the contract will be conducted at Newport News, Virginia, US, while the US Naval Sea Systems Command will serve as the contracting activity.

Image: A unit for the John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) rests on the assembly platen at Newport News Shipbuilding. Photo by Chris Oxley, courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.

Defence Technology