NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Aug. 18, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HII) announced today that the structural production of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) has reached 50 percent completion.
The lead ship in the new class of carriers has been under construction at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division since November 2009. It is on track to meet its scheduled launch in 2013 and delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2015.
Gerald R. Ford is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units, outfitting is installed, and the large units are lifted into the dry dock. Of the 500 total structural lifts needed to complete the ship, 250 have been accomplished.
"We have a tremendous team of shipbuilders that is working hard and making great progress," said Rolf Bartschi, vice president of the CVN 78 Program. "There is still work to be done, but it is incredibly satisfying to see Gerald R. Ford taking shape."
About 860 feet of the ship's total 1,092-foot length is in dry dock, and the ship has been built up to the main deck level, which is about 64 feet above baseline. About 23,000 tons of the Gerald R. Ford's total steel weight of 48,000 tons is currently in the dry dock. More than 1,800 shipbuilders are working on the ship today, and manpower is expected to peak at 3,000 before Gerald R. Ford is completed. As with all aircraft carriers built by Newport News Shipbuilding, suppliers from more than 40 states across the nation, representing more than 24,000 jobs, are contributing to Gerald R. Ford's construction.
Gerald R. Ford represents the next-generation class of aircraft 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 and reduced manning.
About Huntington Ingalls
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder. Employing more than 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California, its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls Shipbuilding. For more information, visit: