Navy awards Newport News Shipbuilding contracts to build 2 carriers

The Navy has awarded a contract for the construction of CVN 80 and CVN 81 to Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding.

The contract award delivers significant savings to the government — exceeding $4 billion when compared to the Navy’s original cost estimates to procure these CVNs separately.

“Today marks a great team effort to drive out cost and maximize efficiency in government procurement,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “Focusing on optimizing construction activities and material procurement, the team was able to achieve significant savings as compared to individual procurement contracts. One contract for construction of the two ships will enable the shipbuilder flexibility to best employ its skilled workforce to design once and build twice for unprecedented labor reductions while providing stability and opportunities for further efficiencies within the nuclear industrial base.”

The contract includes ship integration costs of several modifications required to meet emerging threats including the F-35C Lightning II, Mk 38 gun system and MQ-25 Stingray Unmanned Aircraft System, according to the Navy.

The modifications increase the lethality of the Ford class and represent an additional $100 million in savings that is in addition to the $4 billion, since these new capabilities were not included in the original single-CVN Navy estimate. It increases to $200 million if installed in the ship before delivery, in comparison to installing after ship delivery.

This fixed-price-incentive (firm target) contract limits the Navy’s liability and incentivizes the shipyard’s best performance. The contract guarantees a single technical baseline for both ships, which allows the shipyard to re-use engineering rollover products, minimize changes between the two ships and leverage economic order quantities for equipment and material procurement, according to the Navy.

Enterprise (CVN 80) is the third ship of the Ford class and the numerical replacement for USS Eisenhower (CVN 69). CVN 81, not yet named, will be the fourth ship of the class and will be the numerical replacement for USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). CVN 80 began advanced planning and initial long-lead-time material procurement in May 2016.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.