Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding has started construction of the U.S. Navy’s third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, which will be called Enterprise (CVN-80). CVN-80 will be the ninth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name Enterprise, a lineage that has included legendary vessels such as the World War II-era CV-6 and the nuclear-powered CVN-65.
To kickoff the start of construction, Newport News workers began by cutting the 35-ton steel plate, which will eventually form part of the new carrier. “With this ship, we will ‘boldly go where no one has gone before,’” HII Newport News Shipbuilding president Jennifer Boykin said. “She will be built using digital technology rather than traditional paper work packages and drawings. We will build more of this ship indoors, in new facilities so that our people have more opportunities to work under cover and out of the weather. CVN 80 will revolutionize how we build ships, just as her predecessor, CVN 65—the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier—revolutionized our industry.”