NWI - Naval Warfare

USS Gerald R Ford receives first AWE

21st January 2019 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Navy’s new aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R Ford, has received its first advanced weapons elevator (AWE), the navy announced on 16 January.

AWE Upper Stage 1 was turned over to the ship on 21 December, following testing and certification at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, where the ship is currently undergoing its post-shakedown availability.

USS Gerald R Ford is the first Ford-class aircraft carrier, featuring new AWEs that are controlled via electromagnetic, linear synchronous motors, which allow for quick movement of weapons. The new design will allow the ship to be able to move up to 24,000lbs of ordnance at 150ft per minute.

The vessel features three upper stage elevators that move ordnance between the main deck and flight deck, and seven lower stage elevators that move ordnance between the main deck and the lower levels of the ship.

A separate utility elevator will serve as a dedicated elevator to move both ordnance and supplies, and also serve as a means to medically evacuate injured personnel from the flight deck to the hangar bay. This allows the ten main AWEs and Ford’s three aircraft elevators to be dedicated to their primary missions of ordnance and aircraft movement during real-world operations.

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