The US Navy laid the keel for new USS John F Kennedy, the second aircraft carrier to honour US President John Kennedy, at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia where ironically the fi rst US Nuclear carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65 ) is being scrapped. The ship’s sponsor is Ambassador Caroline Kennedy, Kennedy’s daughter.
The second JFK will also be the second Gerald R Ford class aircraft carrier with hull number (CVN 79).
Gerald R Ford nuclear powered carriers are approximately 100,000 tons displacement, 1,092 feet long with a beam of 134 feet and top speed of over 30 knots. Two nuclear reactors drive four shafts. The ships have a planned service life of 50 years.
The first JFK (CV-67), nicknamed “Big John,” was conventionally powered, entering service in 1968 and decommissioned in 2007. She is now berthed at NAVSEA Inactive Ships Onsite Maintenance facility in Philadelphia available for donation as a museum or, if not, for scrapping.