Huntington Ingalls launches aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy

The future USS John F. Kennedy, the US Navy's second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier (Photo: Huntington Ingalls Industries)

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has launched the second Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier, the future USS John F. Kennedy, into the water for the first time.

The carrier’s launching took place on December 17, nine days after its christening.

With the aid of six tugs, John F. Kennedy was guided down the river from Newport News Shipbuilding’s Dry Dock 12, where it has been under construction, to the shipyard’s Pier 3. There, the ship will undergo additional outfitting and begin its testing programme.

During this phase of construction, which is expected to take about two and a half years, habitability spaces, such as berthing and mess areas, will be completed, and distributive, mechanical and combat systems, such as catapults and radar arrays, will be tested.

John F. Kennedy is scheduled for delivery to the US Navy in 2022.

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