Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) will on Saturday, Jan. 26th, lift and place the 555-metric ton island onto the flight deck of Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the first of the next-generation class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. The ship’s sponsor and President and Mrs. Gerald R. Ford’s daughter, Susan Ford Bales, will participate in the event.
The Gerald R. Ford-class represents the next-generation class of aircraft carriers, and features an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant, electromagnetic catapults, reduced manning and growth margin for future technologies. The carrier’s christening is scheduled for 2013, followed by delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2015. Long lead material procurement for the second ship of the class, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), began in 2009 and the first steel for its construction was cut in February 2011.
Gerald R. Ford is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units, outfitting is installed, and the large units are lifted into the dry dock.
Naval Today Staff, January 21, 2013; Image: NNS