NEWPORT NEWS, Va., June 8 (UPI) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries has received more than $4 billion in U.S. Navy contracts for constructing a second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier.
The first constract, worth $3.35 billion, covers the detail design and building of the carrier John F. Kennedy by the company's Newport News Shipbuilding subsidiary. The second award is a contract modification to an existing construction preparation contract to continue material procurement and manufacturing in support of the ship and is worth $941 million.
"These awards are important, not only for the shipbuilders at Newport News, but for the thousands of suppliers nationwide who provide the steel, pipe, cable, paint and equipment that goes into this cutting-edge defense platform -- and for the sailors who will sail her," said Mike Shawcross, Newport News Shipbuilding's vice president, John F. Kennedy carrier construction. "We look forward to continuing to implement lessons learned from the first-of-the-class ship, Gerald R. Ford, in the construction of Kennedy and delivering the next great carrier to the Navy."
Steel was first cut for the John F. Kennedy in late 2010. Since then, more than 450 of the ship's 1,100 structural units have been constructed under a preparation contract that will be used to start erecting the ship's hull.
The ship's keel-laying ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 22.
Ford-class carriers feature a new flight deck configuration, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island for increased aircraft sortie-generation rates. Other features include new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power-generation capacity, and allowance for future technologies.
The carrier is expected to be completed by 2022.