Huntington Ingalls’ Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division this week reached a major milestone in the construction of the U.S. Navy’s new nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), as the lower bow was lowered into place in dry dock.
As we saw earlier this week, the Gerald R. Ford is being built using modular construction, a process where smaller sections of the ship are welded together to form large structural units, outfitting is installed, and the large unit is lifted into the dry dock. Of the nearly 500 total structural lifts needed to complete the ship, 390 have been accomplished.
The lower bow section shown here is more than 60 feet tall and, at 680-metric-tons, is one of the heaviest superlifts to be placed on the ship.
“The lower bow is a distinctive component of an aircraft carrier,” said Rolf Bartschi, NNS’ vice president of CVN 78 carrier construction. “Its sheer size is indicative of the massive undertaking of this project and the incredible work ethic of the shipbuilders bringing Ford to life. I congratulate the team on yet another major construction milestone.”
This is one of the cooler photos we’ve seen in a while and I highly recommend viewing it in hi-res, HERE.