The U.S. Navy has issued a request for proposal to Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (NYSE: HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division to determine potential cost savings associated with the procurement of two Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers.
“In keeping with the National Defense Strategy, the Navy developed an acquisition strategy to combine the CVN 80 and CVN 81 procurements to better achieve the department’s objectives of building a more lethal force with greater performance and affordability,” James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research development and acquisition, said in a statement published Monday.
“This opportunity for a two-ship contract is dependent on significant savings that the shipbuilding industry and government must demonstrate,” he added.
The service started planning and initial procurement of long-lead-time materials in May 2016 for CVN 80, dubbed Enterprise, and intends to award the construction contract for the third Ford-class aircraft carrier in fiscal 2019 as a two-ship procurement contract pending approval by Congress.
CVN 81 will be the service’s fourth Ford-class carrier and will be the numerical replacement for the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) ship.