Covid-19: Virus impacts force US Navy schedule reassessments for carrier Kennedy and other programmes

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy is reassessing the impact of Covid-19 on the schedules and costs for major shipbuilding programmes with the virus taking its toll on shipyard workforce numbers.

“We are watching with some concern workforce levels at all our shipyards,” James Geurts, assistant secretary of the navy for research, development, and acquisition, said on 12 August.

Geurts told reporters during a telephone news conference that he was particularly worried about Newport News Shipbuilding, the Huntingtin Ingalls Industries (HII) yard in Virginia, “given the relatively high number of cases in there”.

He added, “What we’re really looking at is understanding those impacts.”

During HII’s 6 August quarterly earnings call on 6 August, HII CEO Michael Petters told investment analysts that attendance of HII shipyard hourly production workforce was about 65% with several days during April and May around 50%.

“Following the end of our liberal leave policy in May, we did see those metrics improve,” Petters said. “And during June and July, attendance of our hourly production workforce at both shipyards was approximately 77%. Now cases have been increasing in our shipyards as states have opened up, but we are now seeing a sustainable and manageable level of attendance, and we continue to refine our policies to adapt to the changing circumstances.”

The USN is trying to assess what the impacts of the workforce reductions will mean to the schedule of the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), the Ford-class ship recently launched at Newport News Shipbuilding.


        The US Navy is assessing the impacts of Covid-19 on the delivery schedule of aircraft carrier 
        John F. Kennedy. (Michael Fabey)

The US Navy is assessing the impacts of Covid-19 on the delivery schedule of aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy. (Michael Fabey)

Previously, a major focus in the building of Kennedy

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/covid-19-virus-impacts-force-us-navy-schedule-reassessments-for-carrier-kennedy-and-other-programmes

The US Navy is reassessing the impact of Covid-19 on the schedules and costs for major shipbuilding ...

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