A Newport News Ship Builders photo.
WASHINGTON (BNS): The third Gerald R Ford-class aircraft carrier will be named Enterprise, US Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, has said.
The name was selected to honour USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which was recently inactivated.
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 Enduring Freedom.
The future USS Enterprise, designated CVN 80, will be the ninth ship to bear the name, the US Department of Defence said in a statement.
CVN-78, CVN-79, and CVN-80 are the first three ships in the Navy's new Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) Class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). CVN 78 is scheduled to be delivered in 2015.
Gerald R Ford class-aircraft carriers have been redesigned from the Nimitz class. CVN-80 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.