Newport News Shipbuilding announced a contract from the U.S. Navy for the design and construction of the tenth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The as-yet unnamed CVN 77 will serve as the first transition ship to a new class of carriers. The contract is valued at approximately $3.8 billion and the carrier is scheduled for delivery in 2008. Unlike other Nimitz-class carrier construction contracts, Newport News Shipbuilding is also responsible for delivering the ship's warfare system, a task previously performed by the Navy.
This includes development and procurement of the warfare system through a subcontract to Lockheed Martin and overall integration of the warfare system into the ship. "CVN 77 is an important transitional step toward the evolution of future carriers and an important milestone in the company's growing role as an overall platform integrator," said NNS Chairman and CEO Bill Fricks. "CVN 77 will incorporate new technologies that pave the way for development of the Navy’s next class of large deck, nuclear-powered carriers." The integrated warfare system on CVN 77 will incorporate a new multifunction radar system and an "open architecture" information network that will enable new technology insertion in an efficient and cost-effective manner.