NNS / December 01, 2012
Navy's Next Ford-Class Aircraft Carrier to be Named Enterprise
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced today via video message at the USS
Enterprise (CVN 65) inactivation ceremony that the third Gerald R. Ford-class
aircraft carrier will be named Enterprise.
Mabus selected this name to honor USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the Navy's first
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which was inactivated today in Norfolk, Va.
Commissioned in 1961, CVN 65 served for more than five decades. It
participated in the blockade of the Cuban Missile Crisis, launched strike
operations in Vietnam, and conducted combat missions in support of Operation
"The USS Enterprise was the first of its kind, and for 51 years its name
has been synonymous with boldness, readiness and an adventurous spirit,"
said Mabus. "Rarely has our fleet been without a ship bearing the name.
I chose to maintain this tradition not solely because of the legacy it
invokes, but because the remarkable work of the name Enterprise is not
The future USS Enterprise, designated CVN 80, will be the ninth ship to bear
USS Enterprise and subsequent Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers will
provide improved warfighting capability, quality of life improvements for
Sailors and reduced life cycle costs.
The Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier will be 1,092 feet in length and
have a beam of 134 feet. The flight deck will be 256 feet wide, and the ship
will be able to operate at speeds in excess of 34 knots. Enterprise will be
built by Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport