Yesterday, the Navy deactivated the USS Enterprise, so today marks the first day in 51 years that our naval defenses are without a USS Enterprise, the eighth vessel of that name.
But the Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus announced at the decommissioning ceremony that the next Gerald E. Ford – class carrier will be named the USS Enterprise (CVN 80);
“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 done.”
The future USS Enterprise, designated CVN 80, will be the ninth ship to bear the name.
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 News, Va.