The Navy and Huntington Ingalls Industries completed a record superlift Wednesday, when a 1,040-ton unit was lifted into the drydock at the Huntington Ingalls Newport News shipyard for integration with the future aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
The carrier is being constructed using a modular process that welds together smaller sections to form larger structural units called superlifts. The resulting superlifts are pre-outfitted and placed into the construction dry dock by the shipyard’s 1,050-metric-ton crane.
“This record-setting lift was made possible by PEO Carriers and Huntington-Ingalls working together to incentivize capital improvements in our lift capacity and construction processes. Large superlifts such as this reduce construction costs and allow greater pre-outfitting on land” said Capt. Chris Meyer, program manager for Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carrier Design and Construction.
One of 162 total superlifts, and 495 total erectable units, this most recent superlift will eventually make up the gallery deck, or O-3 level of the completed carrier.
The Gerald R. Ford-class represents the next-generation class of aircraft carriers, and features an enhanced flight deck, improved weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant, electromagnetic catapults, reduced manning and growth margin for future technologies. The carrier’s christening is scheduled for 2013, followed by delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2015. Long lead material procurement for the second ship of the class, John F. Kennedy (CVN 79), began in 2009 and the first steel for its construction was cut in February 2011.
PEO Aircraft Carriers, an affiliated program executive office of the Naval Sea Systems Command, focuses on the design, construction, delivery, system integration and life-cycle support of all aircraft carriers.
Press Release, October 5, 2012