NEWPORT NEWS – The future USS John F. Kennedy is 75 percent structurally complete following the installation of a 750-metric ton forward section of the ship’s main deck, Huntington Ingalls Industries said in a news release Monday.
The newest Ford-class carrier has been under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding since August 2015. The first ship in its class, the USS Gerald R. Ford, was commissioned during a ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk in July.
The newest additions include machinery spaces over the ship’s forward diesel generators as well as the first piece of the flight deck, a jet blast deflector and parts of the ship’s arresting gear system. The ship is being built using modular construction; 341 of its total 447 sections are now in place. With the new addition, the Kennedy is now more than 40 percent complete overall, Lucas Hicks, vice president of the Kennedy program at Newport News Shipbuilding, said in a statement.
Hicks also said that improvements made since the construction of the Ford will allow the shipbuilder to launch the Kennedy three months earlier than planned. The ship is scheduled to be christened in 2019. Delivery to the Navy is expected in 2022.