The Navy has stood up a program office for the planning and procurement of the second ship in the class of Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carriers.

Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, the program executive officer for aircraft carriers, announced the establishment of the new program office on Friday. It will be run by Capt. Doug Oglesby, who was simultaneously promoted to the rank.

Oglesby will oversee the construction of the John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and his office will also manage the procurement of future aircraft carriers of the Ford class.

“Standing up a new program office will allow the Gerald R. Ford-class to begin continuous production while ensuring CVN-78 completes construction and delivery to the highest standards,” Moore said.

The Navy plans to officially procure the Kennedy in fiscal 2013 and is awaiting final congressional approval of the defense budget. The large deck carriers are being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII] shipyard in Newport News, Va.

The Navy is working to get control of cost and adopt lessons learned during the building of the CVN-79. The Ford has experienced cost overruns that are expected to exceed $1 billion that will raise its price tag to at least $12 billion.

Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley told Congress in March that the service has been encountering “very difficult cost growth issues” and is working with HII to address the problem.

Stackley said the Navy is evaluating the construction of CVN-78 to come up with an “optimal” build plan for the CVN-79 and will “take a hard look” at what opportunities there are across CVN-79 and eventually CVN-80 to save money.

In addition to production problems, the Navy has attributed the higher costs to more expensive materials than anticipated, and a decision made under the Bush administration to try to incorporate numerous new and complicated technologies into the first ship, a move Navy Secretary Ray Mabus has said was a mistake.