Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) cut the first steel plate for use on the U.S. Navy’s fourth ship of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier Doris Miller (CVN 81) on Wednesday at its Newport News Shipbuilding division, marking the beginning of its construction.
Doris Miller is the second ship of the two-carrier contract award HII received in January 2019 for the detail design and construction of the Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers; Enterprise (CVN 80) being the first ship of the contract.
Newport News currently is performing early manufacturing of Doris Miller, which includes structural fabrication and shop work. The ship also will be the second aircraft carrier built completely using digital drawings and procedures rather than traditional paper work packages and products.
Doris Miller’s keel is scheduled to be laid in 2026 and delivered to the Navy in 2032.
The Ford class features new software-controlled electromagnetic catapults and weapons elevators, a redesigned flight deck and island, and more than twice the electrical capacity of the preceding Nimitz-class carriers.