American shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries was awarded a $152 million contract on May 23 for advance planning for the construction of the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80).
The third aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy’s Gerald R. Ford class was named in honor of the Navy’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
The work, which includes engineering, design, planning and procurement of long-lead-time material, will be performed at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division through March 2018.
Construction on Enterprise is slated to begin in 2018 with delivery to the Navy in 2027. The new Enterprise will eventually replace the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) when the aircraft carrier enters the fleet.
“We are eager to begin planning and purchasing long-lead-time material for the next Enterprise,” said Mike Shawcross, Newport News’ vice president of CVN 79 and CVN 80 construction. “Advance planning allows us to begin applying lessons learned from CVN 78 and CVN 79 more effectively, while providing stability to our workforce and the industrial base, in order to deliver the ship at the lowest cost possible.”
HII said its shipbuilders are implementing lessons learned in the process of building USS Gerald R. Ford for cost-saving initiatives in building the second ship in the class, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). These initiatives will continue on Enterprise, and HII will work with the Navy to identify additional cost-saving initiatives for future Ford-class carrier construction, the company added.
To remind, the Gerald R. Ford-class carrier acquisition program is, according to the chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Sen. John McCain, $6 billion over budget; $2 billion for each ship in the class.
The price for the USS Gerald R. Ford rose by 23 percent to $12.9 billion, as opposed to a $10.5 billion estimate from 2007.