Construction on the newest Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), hit a major milestone last week.
On July 11, Huntington Ingalls Industry (HII) announced that its Newport News Shipbuilding facility completed the 1,000th compartment out of 2,615 total spaces on the new aircraft carrier, which will serve in the U.S. Navy as USS John F. Kennedy. In the latest progress report, HII also revealed it has installed more than 9.8 million feet (about 1,800 miles) of cable of the approximately 10.5 million total feet of cable to be installed.
Among the recently completed compartments on the new aircraft carrier were the ship’s electrical and engineering compartments. Completion of these compartments will allow sailors assigned to the ship’s pre-commissioning unit to increase training on the hull while shipbuilders continue outfitting and testing other parts of the ship. Daily Press reported crew members will move onto CVN 79 next year.
“Our shipbuilders are highly skilled, determined and working incredibly hard to bring Kennedy to life,” said Lucas Hicks, vice president, New Construction Aircraft Carrier Programs CVN 78 and CVN 79. “This is about equipping our sailors with the most advanced aircraft carrier ever built for the U.S. Navy. We are proud to execute for the customer, and finalize the remaining equipment, systems and compartments that will bring us closer to delivering the ship to the Navy.”
CVN 79 will be the third U.S. warship to bear the Kennedy family name and the second aircraft carrier to bear the name John F. Kennedy. The Kittyhawk-class USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) was the first aircraft carrier named after the late president and entered service in 1968 before retiring in 2007.
Shipbuilders first laid down CVN 79’s hull in July of 2015 and it was christened on Dec. 7, 2019, by Caroline Kennedy, who is the late president’s daughter and who christened the first Kennedy aircraft carrier in 1968 when she was nine years old.
The new John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier will be the second in the Gerald R. Ford-class carrier series.
HII is already working on the third and fourth carriers in the Ford class, which will be named Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81).
CVN 80 will be the ninth U.S. warship and third aircraft carrier to bear the name Enterprise.
CVN 81 will be named after Doris Miller, a Navy cook assigned to the USS West Virginia (BB 48) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Miller earned the Navy Cross for manning a machinegun on the ship during the Pearl Harbor attack, exposing himself to enemy aircraft fire to help defend the ship. The frigate USS Miller (FF-1091) was previously named after Miller.