U.S. Navy Get CVN-80 and CVN-81, Two Aircraft
Carriers by 2019-20. The U.S. procurement of two aircraft carriers
in fiscal year 2019-20, the United States Navy has asked shipbuilders to speedup and
send in bids “to further define the cost savings achievable with buying two-ships”,
dual procurement. Buying two carriers “allows the Navy to build
a fleet of 12 aircraft carriers more quickly as prescribed by the 2018 National Defense
Authorization Act — which established that the Navy should maintain 355 ships, including
12 aircraft carriers,” “If we are going to build a 355 Ship Navy,
then we need to be smart and innovative in how we procure new vessels,” Byrnes said in
a news release, noting that he was “pleased so many of our House colleagues joined us
in making this strong recommendation to the Pentagon.”
The dual buy saves $2.5 billion relative to buying ships one at a time, lawmakers said.
It would also provide more certainty to shipbuilders and contractors that produce aircraft carriers.
Some lawmakers say the goal to field a 355-ship fleet may depend on it. More than 100 lawmakers
sent a letter to the Pentagon in late 2017 “to express interest in a dual procurement
of Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carriers” in the coming fiscal year2019. The legislators
said the government could save up to $2.5 billion by buying two carriers in the same
year as a result of lower logistical costs. Every House member from Virginia signed the
letter, Newport News noted, which isn’t surprising considering that the first Ford-class supercarrier
is built in Virginia. The Newport, Virginia shipyard is the US Navy’s only producer of
nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. “The Navy developed an acquisition strategy
to combine the CVN-80 Gerald R Ford and CVN-81 procurements to better achieve the Department’s
objectives of building a more lethal force with greater performance and affordability,”
James, assistant secretary of the navy for research development and acquisition said
in the March. CVN-80 and CVN-81 are the Navy’s official designations for the two prospective
carriers: CVN-80 will be the USS Enterprise Gerald R Ford; CVN-81 is not yet named. “This
opportunity for a two-ship contract is dependent on significant savings that the shipbuilding
industry and government must demonstrate.” According to the US Navy, buying two ships
at once was a strategy that was “effectively used in the 1980s to procure Nimitz-class
aircraft carriers and achieved significant acquisition cost savings compared to contracting
for the ships individually.” “The biggest difference between the Ford-
and the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers of the previous generation is its ability to
launch aircraft,” Sam LaGorne, “The entire aircraft carrier is designed around the idea
that it can launch 30 percent more aircraft during a particular period than the Nimitz-class.
That’s kind of the central idea behind the Ford versus the Nimitz,” he said.
The ship in the Ford class, the USS Gerald R Ford, the $13 billion ran 20 percent over
budget and more than a year behind schedule before being delivered in 2017, highlighting
the service’s The USS Gerald Ford, will delivered to the Navy in 2018.
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