skip to main content

Quicker radar development, desire for lessons-learned helped drive US Navy single-phase delivery decision for CVN 79

Shipbuilders are preparing aircraft carrier John F Kennedy for the delivery of its new radar suite at Newport News Shipbuilding. (Michael Fabey)

The US Navy (USN) chose to change the way it would take delivery of aircraft carrier (CVN 79) in part because development of the proposed radar suite for the ship moved along more quickly than anticipated and the USN also wanted to build up more lessons-learned for later Ford-class carriers, according to Rear Admiral James Downey, USN Aircraft Carriers program executive officer.

The initial Kennedy plan broke up the normal single carrier delivery, Rear Adm Downey noted on 1 February during a carrier panel discussion at the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) 2022 Technology, Systems & Ships and Combat Systems Symposium.

“It was a two-phase approach, with the hull, mechanical, and electrical (HME) [components] delivery later this year and, in two more years, to finish the combat system,” he said.

“That would have had us fully man the ship now, and then deal with the issues of not having a complete ship and finish the ship by [20]24. We modified that to a traditional ship delivery,” he added.

“Part of the reason [for the two-phased delivery decision] was [because] how long it was going to take to provide a new radar suite,” Rear Adm Downey said.

Kennedy is the second Ford-class carrier. The lead ship of the class, USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), was outfitted with a Dual-Band Radar (DBR), but the navy opted to outfit later carriers of the class with the new AN/SPY-6(V)3 fixed-phase Enterprise Air Surveillance Radar (EASR).

“EASR and the related systems are doing so well, they're a year ahead of what we were projecting,” Rear Adm Downey said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...