The second Ford-class aircraft carrier, the John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), is 75 percent "structurally complete" following the installation of the forward area of the ship's main deck, according to Newport News Shipbuilding.
The ship is being built using modular construction, where smaller sections are welded together to form a structural unit known as a "superlift."
Overall, the aircraft carrier is more than 40 percent complete. "Many of the improvements we have made over the construction of CVN-78, including increased pre-outfitting and performing more complex assemblies in our shops, will allow us to launch the ship three months earlier than planned," Lucas Hicks, CVN-79 vice president at NNS, said in a statement.
The Kennedy's keel was laid in August 2015 and the ship is scheduled to be christened in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019. The Navy anticipates vessel delivery in 2022.
Inside Defense reported in October CVN-79 was 60 percent structurally complete.