ACIBC Fact Sheet: Newport News Shipbuilding

Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) christened by ship's Sponsor Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford

Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) christened by ship's Sponsor Susan
Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford

  • Since 1961, Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News has been building aircraft carriers for the U.S. Navy.  Newport News Shipbuilding is the only shipyard in the U.S. equipped to build, overhaul, and refuel large-deck, nuclear powered aircraft carriers.
  • In 1961, Newport News Shipbuilding built the first large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise (CVN 65), and since that time, has constructed all nuclear-powered carriers of the Nimitz-class.
  • The Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers are the next generation of aircraft carriers, featuring an enhanced flight deck with increased sortie rates, improved weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant, and growth margin for future technologies and reduced manning.
  • Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the lead ship of the new Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carriers, the first new design since USS Nimitz, which was launched in 1972. On November 9, 2013, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was christened on at Newport News Shipbuilding, where the ship is currently under construction.
  • John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the second carrier in the new Gerald R. Ford-class, is in the early stages of construction at Newport News Shipbuilding. While the delivery of John F. Kennedy has been affected by budget issues as a result of the Budget Control Act and sequestration, the ship will be delivered as USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is decommissioned to maintain the congressionally mandated 11 aircraft carrier U.S. Navy Fleet. 
  • Enterprise (CVN 80), the third carrier in the new Gerald R. Ford-class, is scheduled to start construction in 2018, and will continue the legacy of USS Enterprise (CVN 65) that served the nation for 51 years. 
  • Newport News Shipbuilding is the only shipyard to perform overhaul and refueling work on Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, a three-year project that includes the refueling of reactors, as well as significant modernization work.

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