The US Navy (USN) has awarded a block-buy contract modification to Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division for the detail design and construction of two Ford-class aircraft carriers: the future Enterprise (CVN 80) and yet-to-be named CVN 81.
The USD15.2 billion contract, awarded on 31 January, saves a total of USD4 billion combined for both ships compared with the navy's original cost estimates to procure these CVNs separately, USN officials said.
The announcement coincided with the release of the Pentagon Director of Operational Test and Evaluation's (DOT&E's) annual report, which included a blistering review of lead ship USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), which highlighted issues with its system for launching and recovering aircraft, moving weapons, and operating the ship's dual-band radar.
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