SOUTH CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) – Named for the 35th president of the United States, the John F. Kennedy is the latest addition to the United State’s Navy.
The ship weighs more than 100 thousand tons, that’s as much as 400 Statues of Liberty, and is capable of accommodating 4,660 personnel and 75 aircraft.
The U.S. Navy christened the brand-new aircraft carrier over the weekend. Former U.S. ambassador Caroline Kennedy, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of President Kennedy, smashed a bottle of American sparkling wine across the bow to christen the ship. More than 20 thousand guests attended the ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding Division in Virginia.
But that ceremony would not have been possible without help from the South Charleston branch of TW Metals, Inc. The group is one of six companies in West Virginia that provides more than $2.7 million parts and raw materials for the U.S. Navy’s aircraft carrier program.
The branch provided specialty nickel and stainless-steel in tube, pipe, bar, plate and sheet.
“We in the past four years have doubled our business every year with the navy and we are looking forward to this growth to continue through 2038,” Branch Manager Renee Burcham told 13 News Reporter Lily Bradley.
Kennedy is the 2nd ship of the Ford class. This ship is designed to save the Navy $4 billion in total ownership cost over the ship’s 50-year lifespan. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is expected to receive its official “USS” designation when it begins to be formally used by the navy next year.
“These aircraft carriers take several years from start to finish, but then they will be in the water for 50 years,” explained Brandon Garnes, an Inside Account Manager for TW Metals, Inc.
He added, “So it is state of the art technology from the time that it is envisioned, up to the time that it goes into production, to it’s life on the water.”