The US Navy has released a request for proposal (RfP) to Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) to further define the cost savings for its planned acquisition of two Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers, CVN 80 and CVN 81.
Over the last several months, the Navy has been working with the company to estimate the total savings associated with the purchase of the two vessels as a two-ship deal.
The two-vessel purchase arrangement is a contracting strategy that was initially adopted by the US Navy in the 1980s to buy Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.
It has helped the Navy achieve significant cost savings compared to acquiring each vessel individually.
The US Navy is currently pursuing the relevant contracting actions necessary to continue CVN 80’s fabrication in the fiscal year (FY) 2018 and maintain the current schedule as the CVN 80 / 81 two-ship purchase negotiations take place.
A contract for the construction of the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80) is slated to be awarded in by the navy in early FY 2019, while the two-ship buy programme is pending approval from Congress.
US Navy Research Development and Acquisition Assistant Secretary James F. Geurts said: “In keeping with the National Defense Strategy, the Navy developed an acquisition strategy to combine the CVN 80 and CVN 81 procurements to better achieve the department’s objectives of building a more lethal force with greater performance and affordability.
“This opportunity for a two-ship contract is dependent on significant savings that the shipbuilding industry and government must demonstrate.
“The navy is requesting a proposal from HII-NNS in order to evaluate whether we can achieve significant savings.”
The future USS Enterprise is the third vessel of the Gerald R. Ford class and has been designed to be the numerical replacement of the Navy’s current USS Eisenhower (CVN 69).
Additionally, the yet-to-be-named aircraft carrier CVN 81 will represent the fourth vessel of the class and is intended to serve as the numerical replacement for USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
Advanced planning and initial long-lead-time material procurement operations for CVN 80 originally began in May 2016.