NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Sept. 27, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries (NYSE:HII) has received a $296 million contract modification, under a previously awarded contract, for continuation of long-lead-time material procurement for and advance construction of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). The company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division is the prime contractor. http://media.globenewswire.com/hii/mediagallery.html?pkgid=14937 This award enables NNS to continue preparations for the construction of John F. Kennedy, including engineering and planning efforts along with additional advance material procurement and complex component manufacturing. Long-lead-time materials include advanced weapons elevators, pumps, propellers, steel plate, piping and fittings. John F. Kennedy is the second ship in the Gerald R. Ford class, the Navy's newest class of nuclear aircraft carriers. The Ford class incorporates many improvements in capability and is designed to reduce total ownership cost over that of the Nimitz class. The ship's first steel was cut in December 2010, and delivery to the Navy is scheduled no later than 2022. "Advance construction and procurement enables us to transition smoothly from Ford into the bulk of Kennedy's construction starting in 2013, efficiently utilizing our labor and facility resources," said Mike Shawcross, NNS' vice president, John F. Kennedy construction. "We are working hard with the Navy to make the entire class more affordable, and we are taking full advantage of the lessons we are learning while building Ford and applying them to Kennedy. We are always looking at ways to improve carrier construction at the shipyard — from changes in how work flows through the yard to engaging our suppliers for their ideas that could improve efficiency." Cost reduction measures include maximizing work in earlier stages of construction where it can be done more efficiently, re-sequencing unit construction to build similar units repetitively, decreasing the number of lifts required to erect the ship, increasing overall ship completion levels at major key events, and improvements to processes and tools that increase productivity.