Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding division has successfully tested the new light-weight anchor system aboard the US Navy’s Gerald R Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).
Weighing in at 30,000lb, which is half the weight of the anchor systems used on earlier Nimitz-class carriers, the new anchor-handling system features a 1,440ft-long anchor chain, which is made from high-strength steel, and links weighing 136lb each.
HII foreman in charge of testing Derek Briggs said that it was ‘tremendous teamwork across multiple departments’ that enabled the system to be tested.
"By testing each system on the ship, we are able to demonstrate to our customer, the US Navy, that the systems perform as designed," Briggs said.
"Testing on Ford’s anchor windlass system was successful and is a testament to the quality and pride with which our shipbuilders perform their work each day."
The company recently conducted load tests of the vessel’s anchor windlass system, which is used to deploy and retrieve the anchor and chain, with simulated 180ft and 360ft drops.
The 1,092ft-long Gerald R Ford, which has been under construction in the dry dock since November 2009 and is scheduled for delivery in 2016, features a new nuclear power plant, a revamped island, electromagnetic catapults, enhanced weapons movement and an improved flight deck for increased aircraft sortie rates.
Aimed at replacing the navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, the Ford-class vessels use Raytheon’s Sea Sparrow missile (ESSM) and a rolling airframe missile (RAM) close-in weapon system.
Image: Testing of Gerald R Ford’s anchor-handling system. Photo: courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc.