Photo Release -- Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Topped Off with
555-Metric Ton Island
NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Jan. 26, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls
Industries (NYSE:HII) celebrated significant progress today as the 555-metric
ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R.
Ford (CVN 78) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division. The
island will serve as the command center for flight deck operations aboard the
first of the next-generation class of aircraft carriers.
Ford Island Landing
The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island
was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500
total lifts needed to complete the
aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN
78). The ship is about 90 percent
A photo accompanying this release is available at
"The Gerald R. Ford continues our tradition of building quality ships," said
NNS President Matt Mulherin. "It is our duty, our responsibility
and--indeed--our great privilege because we know CVN 78 will provide American
presence and diplomacy anywhere she is needed. She will be home to thousands
of sailors, and she will keep President Ford's legacy alive for future
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the late President Gerald R. Ford and Betty
Ford, serves as the ship's sponsor and participated in the event.
"Shipbuilders--thank you for your extraordinary work," she said. "You are a
national treasure. Thank you very much."
Ford Bales also placed items under the island during the mast-stepping, an
ancient Roman ceremony in which coins were put into the mast of a ship to
ensure safe passage and good luck. Ford Bales placed a sandstone piece made of
the same sandstone used in the construction of the White House and the U.S.
Capitol. The piece was embedded with a unique coin designed by Ford Bales, as
well as five official seals representing her father's service to the nation.
"The Gerald R. Ford represents an incredible engineering achievement—truly a
wonderful blend of technical know-how and American heavy metal," said Rear
Adm. Ted Branch, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. "This ship will operate
until about 2065 or beyond."
Gerald R. Ford is being built using modular construction, a process where
smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural
units, equipment is installed, and the large units are lifted into the dry
dock. The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island represents the 452nd lift of the
nearly 500 total structural lifts needed to complete the ship. At this stage
in construction, Ford is about 90 percent structurally complete.
"When the island is landed, Gerald R. Ford will take on that distinctive and
unmistakable profile of an aircraft carrier," said CVN 78's prospective
commanding officer Capt. John Meier. "Its profile will be easily recognizable;
it belies the advancement of essentially every system aboard the ship. Simply
put, this is not your father's aircraft carrier."
The island is redesigned on Ford to incorporate the latest technology in
flat-panel array radar systems and dual-band radar that provides improved
functionality. It is shorter in length but stands 20 feet taller than islands
on previous aircraft carriers. Its placement is 140 feet further aft and 3
feet further outboard than previous carriers to improve flight deck access for
aircraft operations.The first-in-class ship also features a new nuclear power
plant, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced
flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for
future technologies and reduced manning.
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) designs, builds and maintains nuclear and
non-nuclear ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and provides after-market
services for military ships around the globe. For more than a century, HII has
built more ships in more ship classes than any other U.S. naval shipbuilder.
Employing more than 37,000 in Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and California,
its primary business divisions are Newport News Shipbuilding and Ingalls
Shipbuilding. For more information, visit:
*HII on the web: www.huntingtoningalls.com
*HII on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HuntingtonIngallsIndustries
*HII on Twitter: twitter.com/hiindustries
The Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. logo is available at
CONTACT: Christie Miller
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