Shipbuilders have started production work in parts of Newport News Shipbuilding's new CVN Assembly Hall. Photo by Ashley Cowan

Work Starting In New Aircraft Carrier Facility

Published February 8, 2023

The new CVN Assembly Hall, designed to boost efficiency of aircraft carrier production at Newport News Shipbuilding, has passed a major milestone on its road to completion.

A host of new equipment has been moved into the building, and shipbuilders are bringing the facility to life, working in support of Enterprise (CVN 80) and Doris Miller (CVN 81).

Initial reviews of the new workspace are positive, said Council Pickett, an X02 superintendent.

This is a great opportunity for the company with the utilization of the new workable footprint and a brand new facility to increase production and ultimately help deliver CVN 80 and CVN 81 on time, Pickett said.

Planning for the Assembly Hall began in 2019. That same year, NNS won a two-carrier contract from the Navy to build CVN 80 and 81, and company leaders saw a need to increase the carrier production footprint.

When finished, the Assembly Hall will total six bays and include a three-story support building, said Scott Miller, O41 engineering manager. The building was originally designed for four bays, but was expanded to six to boost efficiency and increase production.

“The CVN program really came in and hit the ground running,” said Miller. “They are already making production lifts with the one crane that’s in service.”

Miller said work will continue on bays four through six, and those should be operational by the spring.

For the support building, the second and third floors will be for management-level employees and support personnel. The ground floor will be set aside for the trades and include lunch tables, weld equipment, weld metal issue and shop area.

“The first floor is really geared toward the trades men and women who are out working the hall, putting what they need close to them,” Miller said.