WASHINGTON – The US Navy’s next Ford-class supercarrier, John F. Kennedy, will be delivered to the fleet with a full range of advanced electronics and capable of supporting the F-35C due to the carrier. fly-up, a change to the two-phased delivery plan set out in the original contract.
According to a Navy press release, two-stage deliveries have been planned to match the development progress for the introduction of an enterprise air-surveillance radar suite, which replaces the dual-band radar. on board lead Ford, according to the Navy press release.
The ship is approximately 76% complete, according to Huntington Ingalls Newport News, and is scheduled for delivery by 2024. The F-35C upgrade is covered by the Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
The Navy acquisition boss said the streamlined delivery schedule based on lessons learned from Ford, the company suffered a multitude of delays and failures as the service made its way. in 23 new technologies integrated into the hull.
“The transition to phase one and the incorporation of the F-35C modifications will allow for an aircraft carrier capable of killing,”; said James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition. people and higher ability ”. “Starting this work now will build on lessons learned from the USS Gerald R Ford to maintain the optimal construction schedule for the shipyard and avoid inefficiency.”
According to the announcement, the contract amendments will be worth approximately $ 315 million.
When JFK launched last December, the shipyard was about 1,300 tons ahead of where Ford was at the same time it was built. The ship’s program director at Newport New Mike Butler argues that the process was due to a better process that moved many of the ship’s assemblies earlier in the process, which was possible with tissue. advanced 3-D product image.
“The main difference is in the model, with the 3D design – without that, we wouldn’t have been able to move that much work any sooner,” Butler said. “For example, with the Nimitz class, we cut a lot of holes in the bulkhead for piping and electricity to pass through. In the Nimitz class, most of those holes were cut on the ship. all of those holes in the shop We have installed a lot of equipment in the store.
“We would never have been able to do that without the model. And without a product model, we would never be able to do digital work packages and things that we could do electronically.
However, the shipyard still faces difficulties, with a relatively green workforce comprised of more than 8,000 new employees over the past few years, though many of them have quickly used multiple methods. More digital facilities for shipbuilding.