HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division will hold a ceremonial first-cut-of-steel event to kick off construction of the new aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80), the third ship of the Gerald R. Ford class. The ceremony is one of the very first construction milestones in the life of a ship.
Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky, the ship’s sponsors, will participate in the event, along with shipbuilders, members of the U.S. Navy and local officials.
CVN 80 will be the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. Designed to replace Nimitz-class carriers, the Ford class features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for future technologies. Each Ford-class ship will operate with a smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier and will provide $4 billion in total ownership cost savings for the Navy. Aircraft carriers provide sovereign, mobile U.S. territory and are a visible symbol of U.S. power. They are the centerpiece of our nation’s security strategy and support and protect the global economy through the protection of sea lanes around the world.