Huntington Ingalls Industries‘ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has outfitted the Gerald R Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79) with a 965t structure called superlift into dry dock.

The 80ft-long and 100ft-wide superlift contains two pump rooms and features grating, pumps, valves, pipe, electrical panels, equipment mounting studs, lighting, and other outfitting components.

The superlift was made with more than twice the amount of outfitting accomplished compared to the same superlift on Kennedy’s predecessor Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).

“We are continuing to make good progress on the Kennedy with a focus on reducing cost.”

Newport News Shipbuilding CVN 79 construction vice-president Mike Shawcross said: "We are continuing to make good progress on the Kennedy with a focus on reducing cost.

"Not only are we taking the lessons learned from the first ship of the class, the Ford, and applying them to our work on Kennedy, we are also approaching the construction of this ship differently to further bring down the cost.

"By installing most of the outfitting before the section goes into dry dock, we are able to significantly reduce man-hours, which translates to cost savings for the navy and the American taxpayer."

Under a $3.35bn contract awarded to HII, the CVN 79 is being constructed at Newport News, Virginia, US, and is expected to be delivered in 2022.

Modularly constructed, the structure is the 21st superlift that has been placed in the dock since the ship’s keel was laid last year.

The 100,000t ship will be capable of operating up to 90 aircraft, which includes the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, MH-60R / S helicopters, and unmanned air vehicles and unmanned combat air vehicles.

The vessels will replace USS Nimitz (CVN 68) in the aircraft carrier force structure.