NEWPORT NEWS, Va., July 20 (UPI) -- Funding for long-lead equipment and material funding for building a new aircraft carrier has been approved by the U.S. Navy.
Huntington Ingalls Industries reported the $43.4 million came as a modification to an earlier contract given to its Newport News Shipbuilding division for pre-construction activities for the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the second ship in the Navy's newest class of carriers.
The new funding will be used to purchase long-lead-time equipment such as ship elevator machinery and large pumps.
"This award enables us to continue our construction preparation efforts, allowing us to provide a more efficient approach to building the ship that supports one of our most important goals, affordability," said Mike Shawcross, NNS' vice president, CVN 79 construction.
"We see the Ford, the first ship of the class, steadily taking shape in our dry dock and it's exciting to know we will be building John F. Kennedy right behind it."
The construction preparation work is focused on engineering, planning, long-lead-time material procurement and initial manufacturing.
The Navy's Ford class carriers will feature flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island, all resulting in greater aircraft sortie rates.
The ships will also have new nuclear power plants and increased electrical power generation capacity.