Mon, Sep 15, 2008
Northrop Grumman Corporation has won a $5.1 billion, 7-year
(cost plus incentive fee) contract award for detail design and
construction of the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier. This new class of carrier is the replacement for
the Nimitz-class design that originated in the 1960s.
The company's Shipbuilding sector will perform
the work, which includes ship construction, ship design activities,
engineering services, procurement of materials and hardware to
support construction and logistics activities.
"This contract award is an important and historic milestone for
our company, our Navy and our country," said Matt Mulherin, vice
president and general manager for Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding's
Newport News operations. "It represents an incredible opportunity
for the great shipbuilders of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding to
build the first new aircraft carrier class in more than 40 years.
The work we are doing today will play a significant role in
America's defense for many generations to come."
Advance construction of the Gerald R. Ford began in 2005
(pictured below) under a separate contract valued at $2.7 billion.
This advance work allowed shipbuilders to test the design-build
strategy, exercise new processes, prototype new features used on
this ship before the overall construction contract was awarded, and
to build a sufficient backlog of ship units to support production,
undocking and delivery. About one third of the ship's 1,200
structural units are currently under construction. The ship's keel
will be laid in the fall of 2009 and delivery to the Navy is
scheduled for 2015.
Enhancements being incorporated into the design include flight
deck changes, improved weapons handling systems, and a redesigned
island, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie rates. It will
also include a new nuclear power plant; increased electrical power
generation capacity; allowance for future technologies; and reduced
workload for the sailors, translating to a smaller crew size and
lower operating costs for the Navy.
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