HII gets contract for single-phase delivery of US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has received an undefinitized contract award from the US Navy to shift the delivery strategy for the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) from a two-phase delivery to a single phase.

John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) sits at Pier 3 at Newport News Shipbuilding division. Photo: HII/Matt Hildreth
John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) sits at Pier 3 at Newport News Shipbuilding division. Photo: HII/Matt Hildreth

As explained, the newly announced contract action 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, according to HII.

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,” Lucas Hicks, Newport News’ vice president of new construction aircraft carrier programs, said.

“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.

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The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the US Navy in 2024.

The lead ship in the class, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), was commissioned in July 2017 as the US Navy’s most expensive ship ever built.