Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, is the largest industrial employer in Virginia, and sole designer, builder and refueler of United States Navy aircraft carriers and one of two providers of U.S. Navy submarines. Founded as the Chesapeake Dry Dock and Construction Co. in 1886, Newport News Shipbuilding has built more than 800 ships, including both naval and commercial ships. Located in the city of Newport News, their facilities span more than 550 acres (2.2 km2), strategically positioned in one of the great harbors of the East Coast. The shipyard is a major employer, not only for the lower Virginia Peninsula, but also portions of Hampton Roads south of the James River and the harbor, portions of the Middle Peninsula region, and even some northeastern counties of North Carolina. The shipyard is building the aircraft carriers USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and USS Enterprise (CVN-80). In 2013, Newport News Shipbuilding began the deactivation of the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), which it also built. Newport News Shipbuilding also performs refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) work on Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. This is a four-year vessel renewal program that not only involves refueling of the vessel's nuclear reactors but also includes modernization work. The yard has completed RCOH for four Nimitz-class carriers (USS Nimitz, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Carl Vinson and USS Theodore Roosevelt). As of May 2016 this work was underway for the fifth Nimitz-class vessel, USS Abraham Lincoln. As of November 2017 this work was underway for the sixth Nimitz-class vessel, USS George Washington.
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