Newport News Shipbuilding

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Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company
legal form Company
founding 1886
resolution 2001 (purchased by Northrop Grumman )
Seat Norfolk , United States
Branch shipyard

The aircraft carrier Nimitz in dry dock at Newport News Shipbuilding

The Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company ( NNS ) was the largest independent shipyard in the United States until it was taken over by the defense company Northrop Grumman on November 7, 2001 . Northrop Grumman's shipbuilding division was again spun off in 2011 into a legally independent company, Huntington Ingalls Industries .

The shipyard is located in Newport News , Virginia , near the naval base of Norfolk ( Norfolk Naval Base ). It focuses in recent years on the construction of aircraft carriers and submarines . The USS George H. W. Bush is the 30th aircraft carrier to be built in the shipyard founded in 1886. It is the only shipyard capable of building Nimitz- class aircraft carriers .


In the 1880s, Collis P. Huntington built a railroad to transport coal from the Ohio River valley to Newport News . In 1886 he founded the Newport News Shipyard, which delivered its first ship in 1891, a tug named Dorothy .

By 1897, three warships had been built for the United States Navy . From 1907, six modern battleships based on the model of the British HMS Dreadnought were built at the shipyard .

25 destroyers were built from 1918 to 1920 . After World War I , Newport News Shipbuilding began manufacturing the first aircraft carrier, built from scratch. The USS Ranger was delivered in 1934. This was followed by two more aircraft carriers, the USS Yorktown and the USS Enterprise , which became famous for their use in the Battle of Midway .

The shipyard also built tankers for US oil companies between the wars. In 1940 the shipyard went public.

During World War II , 31,000 people worked on ships for the US Navy. In a specially established emergency shipyard, 239 Liberty freighters were built during the war . These were slow, but cheap and quick to build cargo ships, which more than made up for the ship losses in the battle of the Atlantic .

After the war, the shipyard manufactured the world's largest aircraft carriers, the USS Midway (1945) and the USS Coral Sea (1947). In 1952 the passenger ship United States followed , which in 2008 still held the Blue Ribbon won in 1952 for the fastest Atlantic crossing in a westerly direction.

In 1954, together with Westinghouse and the US Navy , the shipbuilder developed a prototype of a nuclear reactor for propelling aircraft carriers. This led to the creation of the first nuclear-powered carrier ( USS Enterprise ), which was completed in 1960. As early as 1959, the first nuclear-powered submarine and the first ballistic missile submarine left the shipyard.

In 1968 Newport News Shipbuilding merged with Tenneco , and two years later the northern part of the yard was rebuilt and prepared around dry dock 12 for the construction of larger ships. The two largest tankers in the Western Hemisphere were built here before the oil crisis brought the company into economic trouble.

But orders from the US Navy caused sales to rise to 1 billion US dollars in 1981. Successful types of ships such as the Los Angeles- class submarines and the Nimitz- class aircraft carriers have been built here since then.

After the end of the Cold War , the US government cut spending on the military. Newport News Shipbuilding became an independent company again in 1996, whose shares were again traded on the stock exchange, and focused on the construction of aircraft carriers and submarines. In 2001 the company was taken over by the armaments company Northrop Grumman.

The USS Gerald R. Ford , the first Gerald R. Ford- class aircraft carrier , was in dry dock at the shipyard from 2009 to 2013 and under construction until May 2017. It replaced the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in 2017 .

Dry dock 12

The Dry Dock 12 is the largest dry dock in the USA.

It is 670 meters long and can be separated into two watertight areas. The foundation rests on a pile construction that is anchored a good 100 meters deep in the ground. The concrete floor is extremely thick to prevent it from floating up due to its weight. The dock's gantry crane can lift 1050 tons . It was built in 1975 by Krupp Krantechnik Wilhelmshaven as a 900 t crane. In the course of a comprehensive modernization in the 2000s, the load capacity was increased to 3 × 350 t.

Due to the tides of Chesapeake Bay at the mouth of the James River , the dock can be flooded a maximum of 10 meters. As a result, the aircraft carriers with greater draft are only built as far as necessary in the dry dock. The final assembly takes place outside the dry dock.

Web links

Commons : Newport News Shipbuilding  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 36 ° 59 ′ 12 ″  N , 76 ° 26 ′ 9 ″  W.