Ford-class aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79) is scheduled to start testing for its Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) later this year, according to Chris Kastner, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), whose Newport News Shipbuilding yard is building the ship.

“CVN 79 Kennedy is approximately 83% complete and the team is focused on compartment completion and key propulsion plant milestones,” Kastner told investment analysts during a 10 February quarterly earnings call.

Kastner also noted progress in other carrier and nuclear-powered submarine programmes.

“CVN 80 Enterprise and CVN 81 Doris Miller continue material procurement and early unit construction and CVN 80 plans to lay keel this year,” Kastner said. “Regarding CVN 78 USS Gerald R Ford , the planned incremental availability is on track to complete this year.”