Covid-19: Despite virus effects, work on carrier Kennedy outpaces Ford

by Michael Fabey

While Covid-19 has affected the construction of aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79), the ship is still outpacing its predecessor, carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), when it comes to putting sailors onboard, according to Rear Admiral John Meier, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic.


        Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding launched aircraft carrier 
        John F Kennedy
         on 16 December 2019.
       (Huntington Ingalls Industries)

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding launched aircraft carrier John F Kennedy on 16 December 2019. (Huntington Ingalls Industries)

“From a construction perspective, we’ve made significant improvement in our ability to get some portion of the crew working on board [Kennedy] sooner than we did on Ford,” Rear Adm Meier told Janes on 15 June after touring Kennedy in at the Virginia shipyard in Newport News Shipbuilding.

“I take that as a very visible sign of learning from the construction of the Ford-class,” he said. “In particular the reactor department is working on board and training on board. They are starting to take ownership of the system.”

That idea of ownership, he noted, is a very important concept as a carrier transitions from being built by a contractor to being operated by the US Navy (USN).

“When a ship is constructed, it starts out as a construction project,” he pointed out. “But system by system, it gets turned over to the crew. It’s not necessarily the ‘cleanest’ process.”

It is not like buying a car, he said, where customers can test drive the vehicle before buying it. Instead, sailor crews get on board the ship and take over parts of carrier, spaces, and systems at a time.

“We get our crew on board, working on board, and taking ownership of the systems,” Rear Adm Meier said. “They start to really imbue the ship with their character and their culture.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/covid-19-despite-virus-effects-work-on-carrier-kennedy-outpaces-ford

While Covid-19 has affected the construction of aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79), the ship i...

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