Project Participants: Newport News Shipbuilding
Project Start: June 2015
The U.S. Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, have a joint initiative to reduce the construction cost of FORD-class aircraft carriers (CVN). The Navy ManTech Program is participating in this initiative with specific focus on improving manufacturing processes for ship construction.
Compared to the Nimitz-class, the FORD-class aircraft carriers have changed the thickness of plating resulting in increased welding hours for CVN 78. To meet CVN 79/80 cost reduction goals, NNS is actively modernizing its welding infrastructure with the intent of transitioning to new more capable equipment and shifting to more efficient welding processes.
This NNS-led project works to identify and implement ultra-high deposition SAW variants and expand the use of SAW to increase productivity. The objective of this project supports the NNS’s welding infrastructure improvement effort by piloting and validating these advanced commercial SAW technology/equipment.
This project is divided into two distinct phases, with the first phase determining baseline requirements for ultra-high SAW welding technology and candidate SAW processes. In collaboration with the Technical Warrant holders, the second phase will evaluate and quantify the performance of candidate SAW processes relative to current SAW processes at NNS. Following this, the preferred process(es) will be targeted for implementation at NNS. Project results will be used to determine the technical feasibility of implementing new SAW technology in FORD-class aircraft carrier fabrication at NNS.