NNS and Navy personnel inspect a compartment on John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) before the space is turned over to ship’s force.

NNS Turns Over 1,000th Kennedy Compartment

Published July 11, 2022

Newport News Shipbuilding has reached a significant milestone in the compartment and systems construction of John F. Kennedy (CVN 79).

NNS recently turned over to the ship’s crew the 1,000th compartment of the 2,615 total spaces. The milestone reflects the shipyard’s steady progress toward delivery of the ship to the Navy. NNS has also installed more than 9.8 million feet of cable, or more than 1,800 miles, of the approximately 10.5 million feet of cable on Kennedy.

The most recently completed spaces include electrical and engineering. This allows sailors assigned to the pre-commissioning unit to increase training on the ship while final outfitting and testing progresses.

“Our shipbuilders are highly skilled, determined and working incredibly hard to bring Kennedy to life,” said Lucas Hicks, vice president of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) Aircraft Carrier Programs. “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.”

Kennedy, the second in the Ford class, is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2024. Ford-class aircraft carriers are the first to be designed 100% digitally. Although the ships were designed in a digital environment, paper drawings are still used during construction. Kennedy represents a transition to a new digital construction process, with shipbuilders beginning to use visual work instructions on laptops and tablets rather than paper drawings. Enterprise (CVN 80) will be the first carrier totally built using the digital tools.

Shipbuilders and Navy officials celebrate the 1,000th compartment on John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) being turned over to ship’s force.

Ford class enhancements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems and a redesigned island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie-generation rates. The Ford class also features new nuclear power plants, increased electrical power-generation capacity, allowance for future technologies, and reduced workload for sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and reduced operating costs for the Navy.

Construction processes on these carriers are enabled by workforce learning that took place on Ford, and those lessons are being applied throughout the class.