HII lays keel of US Navy’s new aircraft carrier Enterprise

American shipbuilding company Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) has laid the keel of US Navy’s aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80) at its Newport News Shipbuilding division.

As informed, the keel-laying ceremony took place on 27 August.

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CVN 80 will be the ninth US Navy vessel to carry the name Enterprise. The most recent, CVN 65, was the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in history.

Already, 20,000 pounds of steel from CVN 65 have been incorporated into modules for CVN 80. When fully constructed, more than 35,000 pounds of steel from CVN 65 will live on in CVN 80, ensuring the Enterprise’s legacy continues, according to HII.

Enterprise
Photo: HII

Enterprise is the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. Designed to replace Nimitz-class carriers, the Ford class features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck to support increased operational efficiency, and growth margin for future technologies, HII noted.

The vessel is also the first aircraft carrier designed and built digitally using visual work instructions on laptops and tablets rather than paper drawings.

Construction processes on Ford-class carriers, including Enterprise, are enabled by workforce learning that took place on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). 

As emphasized by HII, Enterprise is the first of a two-carrier block buy for the US Navy, with work also underway on the second, Doris Miller (CVN 81).

Recently, the combat achieved a significant achieved milestone in the compartment and systems construction of aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy.

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Meanwhile, at the beginning of the month, US Navy’s lead Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed the combat systems operational readiness exercise (CSORE). The ship is now gearing up for its first deployment this year.

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