WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Northrop Grumman Newport News (NGNN) shipyard placed the 700-ton island onto the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) during an island lifting event July 8, at the Northrop Grumman shipyard in Newport News, Va.
The ship is named in honor of the 41st U.S. President George H. W. Bush, who participated in the event, accompanied by his wife and former First Lady Barbara Bush. Also participating were Bush's daughter Doro Bush Koch, the ship's sponsor; Navy Secretary Donald C. Winter; Capt. Kevin O'Flaherty, the ship's prospective commanding officer; Mike Petters, president of the shipyard; and Scott Stabler, the vice president for CVN 77 programs at NGNN.
Senior Navy officials attending the event included Dr. Delores Etter, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition; Adm. John Nathman, commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, U.S. Atlantic Fleet; Allison Stiller, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for Ship Programs; Rear Adm. David Architzel, program executive officer, aircraft carriers; Brian Persons, executive director for program executive office, aircraft carriers; and Capt. Tom Moore, program manager for in-service aircraft carriers.
The island placement marks the 162nd and final super lift in the carrier's construction schedule, which is now approximately 70 percent complete. The Navy awarded NGNN the CVN 77 construction contract in January 2001. The vessel's keel was laid in September 2003, and the ship is on track for christening Oct. 7, 2006, and commissioning in late 2008.
"CVN 77 is the 10th and final Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carrier. The ship will operate for more than 20 years without refueling and will serve this nation until around 2059," said Moore, program manager for aircraft carriers. "Our sons and daughters are getting the best carrier ever built to preserve the freedom of this nation."
The future USS George H. W. Bush, powered with two nuclear reactors, will stretch 1,092 feet, weigh 97,000 tons and will exceed a top speed of 30 knots. Some of the new advanced technologies and designs incorporated into CVN 77 will transition to the newest class of aircraft carriers, CVN 21.
The advancements include a new automated JP-5 fuel system with an improved fuel filtration system; an enhanced radio automation center; a composite mast that will reduce topside weight up to 5 tons and decrease the number of electromagnetic blockages; a new marine sewage system and new propellers.
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