Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding President Jennifer Boykin provided an update on the various stages of construction on several major Navy shipbuilding programs during the Navy League’s Sea Air Space Expo last week.
The future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is about 43 percent complete, with launch planned for the fourth quarter of 2019 and delivery set for 2022. Boykin said the company has achieved about 75 percent of the ship erected and they are on track for an 18 percent man-hour budget reduction.
Boykin provided these updates during a press briefing at the conference.
Boykin revealed that undocking of CVN-79 in the fourth quarter of 2019 will occur three months earlier than originally planned.
On the status of two Refueling Complex Overhaul (RCOH) carriers, she said the USS George Washington (CVN-73) has finished seven months of a 47-month contract and the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) is in month four of seven for the Pre-Advance Extension Period, with ship checks underway at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in Washington. Planning year one for CVN-74 is set to start this upcoming July.
HII also gave updates on Virginia-class attack submarines. Of the eight ships in the Block III acquisition, only three have not been delivered: SSN-789 is 97 percent complete; SSN-790 is 90 percent done; and SSN-791 is 83 percent complete. Block IV ships are overall 29 percent complete, ranging from 72 percent from SSN-792 to under 10 percent for vessels SSN-798 through 801.
Separately, HII announced last Thursday its Ingalls Shipbuilding division is planning to reactivate shipbuilding facilities on the east bank of the Pascagoula River.
The company noted the east bank was the site of Ingalls’ original shipyard, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. HII said this reactivation “will restore the facility’s ability to support Ingalls’ current ship construction and modernization programs” as well as help prepare for future work.
Restoration work is set to begin immediately and will take about two years to finish. The major component of the work includes adding large, covered construction areas to build ship assemblies and components as well as restoration of one outfitting pier.
“We are excited to be bringing the east bank back to life,” Ingalls Shipbuilding president Brian Cuccias said in a statement.
He underscored the company is celebrating its 80th anniversary and “what better way to do that than to announce that the original Ingalls facility will become a productive, vibrant part of the Pascagoula landscape once again.”
George Jones, Ingalls’ vice president for operations, explained the company is “using proven concepts from our west bank modernization as a guide for our east bank reactivation.”
HII will use employee recommendations to improve safety, efficiency, and working conditions with more covered work areas, better environmental controls, and updated tools and technology.
Cuccias said when Ingalls determined it need additional facilities, “it made perfect sense to do this expansion here in our hometown: because local leaders support the shipbuilding and workforce training programs, with economic development incentive policies.
Concurrently, Newport News Shipbuilding said last week it has completed its first inactivation of a nuclear-powered carrier, the former USS Enterprise (CVN-65).
The process began in 2013 when the shipyard defueled the eight nuclear reactors, inactivated the propulsion systems, and prepared the hull for final tow. The company completed inactivation work in December, but the government contracting office review and certification of paper work was only completed in April.
CVN-65 remains at the yard to finish post-inactivation work to prepare for storage around Hampton Roads until the Navy determines a disposal plan.