Huntington Ingalls cuts steel for fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier

Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), America’s largest military shipbuilding company, has held a steel-cutting ceremony for the fourth Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding yard.

The USS Doris Miller (CVN 81) is the second ship named in honor of Miller, the first aircraft carrier ever named for an African American and the first aircraft carrier ever named in honor of an enlisted sailor’s actions. 

Newport News currently is performing early manufacturing of the vessel, which includes structural fabrication and shop work.

The ship also will be the second aircraft carrier built completely using digital drawings and procedures rather than traditional paperwork packages and products.

Doris Miller also is the second ship of the two-carrier contract award HII received in January 2019 for the detail design and construction of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers; Enterprise (CVN 80) being the first ship of the contract.

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The Ford-class ships feature new software-controlled electromagnetic catapults and weapons elevators, a redesigned flight deck and island, and more than twice the electrical capacity of the preceding Nimitz-class carriers. 

Doris Miller’s keel is scheduled to be laid in 2026 and delivered to the US Navy in 2032.