Watch: Flight Deck on Aircraft Carrier John F. Kennedy Complete

Published Jul 13, 2019 5:10 AM by The Maritime Executive

The installation of the final piece of the U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy’s (CVN 79) flight deck has been completed by Huntington Ingalls Industries.

The addition of the upper bow section at the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division is one of the last steel structural units, known as a superlift, to be placed on John F. Kennedy. Weighing 780 tons, the superlift took 18 months to build.

The ship is being built in sections with more outfitted equipment—valves, pipe, electrical panels, mounting studs, lighting, ventilation and other components—than any other aircraft carrier built at Newport News. The use of new technologies, including digital work instructions that provide shipbuilders digital 3-D data versus traditional paper drawings, has increased efficiency and productivity.

The increased use of digital tools facilitates the fabrication of superlifts that are much larger and more complete at ship erect than on prior carriers. The carrier is on track to be built with considerably fewer man-hours than the first ship in her class, Gerald R. Ford.

John F. Kennedy is on schedule to launch during the fourth quarter. Her christening is planned for late 2019.

The Gerald R. Ford-class are replacements for Enterprise and Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. They are anticipated to be the premier forward asset for crisis response and early decisive striking power in a major combat operation. Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and carrier strike groups will provide the core capabilities of forward presence, deterrence, sea control, power projection, maritime security and humanitarian assistance.

General Characteristics, Gerald R. Ford class 

Builder: Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Virginia.
Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts.
Length: 1,092 feet
Beam: 134 feet, Flight Deck Width: 256 feet.
Displacement: approximately 100,000 long tons full load.
Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour)
Crew: 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff).
Armament: Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, Rolling Airframe Missile, CIWS.
Aircraft: 75+.