NEWPORT NEWS (AP) -- Structural work of the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier at Newport News Shipbuilding is nearing completion.

Huntington Ingalls says the structural work on the lead ship in the new class of carriers has hit the 90 percent mark. The ship has been under construction at its Newport News Shipbuilding division since November 2009. It is on track for its scheduled launch in 2013 and delivery to the Navy in 2015.

The company says about 3,500 shipbuilders are working on the ship.

The carrier is being built using modular construction, where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units.

The Ford class aircraft carrier features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement and an enhanced flight deck.

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