Navy to Build CVN-79 in 2 Phases; Ditching Plans for Early AFSB-3 Procurement

A unit for the future aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) rests on the assembly platen at Newport News Shipbuilding on March 5, 2014. US Navy Photo

A unit for the future aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) rests on the assembly platen at Newport News Shipbuilding on March 5, 2014. US Navy Photo

In their first budget hearing of the year with the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), Navy officials described their Fiscal Year 2016 plans that include speeding up construction of the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) without changing its delivery date, hurrying to start the USS George Washington (CVN-73) Refueling and Complex Overhaul (RCOH) planning to avoid problems down the road, and abandoning hopes of procuring a third Afloat Forward Staging Base early.

Navy acquisition chief Sean Stackley told the HASC seapower and projection forces subcommittee that current budget plans speed up Kennedy construction at Newport News Shipbuilding but would then include a gap in work before installing electronics just prior to the ships delivery date which would remain unchanged.

We want to build it early from the standpoint of efficiency with the shipyard, Stackley said. However, if you build it early, deliver it early, then you have an overlap between 79 and the retirement of CVN-68. What we cant do is ramp up one extra aircraft carrier crew for a couple year period. So what were doing is we look at that as schedule flexibility were going to try to drive the CVN-79 construction to the left for efficiency purposes, but then were going to look for a window, a second phase in the build process for the carrier, where were....

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