Newport News Shipbuilding (USA) announced that the U. S. Navy has awarded the company a contract valued at approximately $161 million for research and design development engineering services in support of the future aircraft carrier program, CVNX. Work performed under the contract will include research and development tasks such as systems specifications, design weight estimates, preliminary logistics data, electromagnetic aircraft launching system design integration and preliminary construction planning.
Newport News Shipbuilding is currently performing design work and preliminary construction for the transition ship to the new class of carriers, CVN-77. It is scheduled for delivery in 2008. Construction of the first ship of the new class of carriers, CVNX-1, is scheduled to begin in 2006 with the second ship, several years thereafter.
CVNX ships will be a new 21st-century generation of aircraft carriers. Starting with CVN -77 and culminating with CVNX-2, a host of technological improvements will be introduced to lower operating costs and improve combat capabilities.
A redesigned propulsion plant will afford a more efficient and powerful electrical distribution system that will support the replacement of high maintenance cost steam systems with electrical auxiliaries. A new electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) will replace the steam-driven catapults and significantly lower maintenance and high costs incurred on current carriers.Smart sensors will assist in further reducing Navy watch standing requirements and in automating damage control functions such as detecting fire and flooding situations. Flight deck redesign and a transition to an electromagnetic aircraft recovery system (EARS) will reduce crew workload, enhance safety and reduce the costs of operating and maintaining a carrier throughout its 50-year life.