What: HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division will host a ceremonial keel-laying for Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN 80) on Saturday, Aug. 27. This event is NOT open to public but will be livestreamed: https://HII.com/cvn80. Media are also invited to visit the ceremony site on Friday, Aug. 26, in advance of the ceremony. The media preview day, on Friday, Aug. 26, will provide an opportunity to speak with Newport News Shipbuilding leadership, Enterprise shipbuilders and Navy representatives from the Program Executive Office for Aircraft Carriers.
Who: Olympic gold medalists Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky are the ship’s sponsors. Ledecky will participate in Saturday’s keel-laying ceremony in person, while Biles will participate via video. Ledecky will be available for media interviews immediately following Saturday’s ceremony. Other ceremony participants include Newport News shipbuilders, and U.S. Navy and local officials.
When: Media preview day
Friday, Aug. 26
Media check-in: 9:15 a.m.
Saturday, Aug. 27
Media check-in: 8:45 a.m.
Where: Media will park at VASCIC (2401 West Ave., Newport News, Virginia, 23607) both days and be escorted and transported by bus to and from the event site. See directions below. The bus will depart at 9:45 a.m. on Friday and 9:15 a.m. on Saturday.
RSVP: Confirmation of media attendance is required. Please RSVP by noon on Wednesday, Aug. 24. You must present a photo ID and be a U.S. citizen to be admitted to the events. Please RSVP to:
Please note that because this is an industrial setting, long pants, shirts with sleeves covering shoulders, and flat, sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required.
Details: CVN 80 is the third Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. Designed to replace Nimitz-class carriers, the Ford class features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for future technologies. Enterprise will be the first aircraft carrier not only designed digitally, but also built digitally. CVN 80 will be the ninth Navy vessel to bear the name Enterprise. It carries on the name of the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in history, CVN 65, which was also built at Newport News Shipbuilding. As America recognizes the 100-year legacy of aircraft carriers this year, all nuclear-powered aircraft carriers operating in the U.S. Navy fleet today were built at Newport News Shipbuilding.
A webcast of the Saturday ceremony will be provided at https://HII.com/cvn80. A live, multi-camera satellite broadcast of the event will also be provided. Satellite information:
Satellite: GALAXY 17 (91 degrees west)
Transponder: Ku Digital 10 – Ch.A (9 Mhz)
Downlink Frequency: 11886.5
Downlink Polarity: Vertical
Symbol Rate: 7.5
DVBS2, 8PSK TRANSMISSION, 4:2:0, 1080i
Window time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Eastern Saturday
Directions to media parking:
From West Avenue, turn into the VASCIC complex at the sign.
For media preview day on Aug. 26, follow this road past the main entrance doors of VASCIC (on your right) and into the parking garage. Upon entering the parking garage, marked spaces will be reserved for media on the left.
For ceremony day on Aug. 27, please park in the exterior visitor spaces on both sides immediately in front of the VASCIC building.
HII is an all-domain defense and technologies partner, recognized worldwide as America’s largest shipbuilder. With a 135-year history of trusted partnerships in advancing U.S. national security, HII delivers critical capabilities ranging from the most powerful and survivable naval ships ever built, to unmanned systems, ISR and AI/ML analytics. HII leads the industry in mission-driven solutions that support and enable an all-domain force. Headquartered in Virginia, HII’s skilled workforce is 44,000 strong. For more information, visit: