The U.S. Department of Defense has awarded America’s largest military shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls undefinitized contract related to shift the delivery strategy for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) from a two-phase delivery to a single phase.
The contract action announced today revises the two-phased delivery approach originally planned for the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford-class of carriers. It comes as a result of extensive collaboration with the Navy to support legislative requirements for Kennedy to be delivered with its complete warfare system, including F-35 Joint Strike Fighter capabilities, before the ship is commissioned into the fleet.
The contract action has a potential total value of up to $315 million, provides initial funding for the procurement of long-lead material and planning, and is expected to be definitized next year.
“We are pleased to have worked with the Navy to adopt lessons learned in the construction of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to improve cost, production and planning efficiencies on Kennedy,” said Lucas Hicks, Newport News’ vice president of new construction aircraft carrier programs. “We believe that the single-phase approach ensures the most effective build plan for all remaining work and provides the best value for the Navy by supporting its ability to accelerate operational deployment of this maritime force asset.”
Kennedy is approximately 76% complete. The ship was launched in December 2019, and currently is undergoing additional outfitting and testing at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2024.
Kennedy will continue the legacy of highly capable nuclear-powered aircraft carrier platforms. Ford-class enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie-generation rates. The Ford-class also features new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power-generation capacity, allowance for future technologies, and reduced workload for sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and reduced operating costs for the Navy.