Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed the development of the detail design phase for the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) in the 3-dimensional Product Model.
As the Navy’s first aircraft carrier to be entirely designed using a 3-dimensional Product Model, Gerald R. Ford is being built by the shipbuilding sector in Newport News, Va. The 3-dimensional Product Model is the key enabler to carry out the design/build process for manufacturing, construction, and testing through delivery. It also includes definition of the ship’s geometry and technical definition of the ship’s parts, including the procurement, planning and manufacturing data.
Mike Shawcross, Northrop Grumman vice president of aircraft carrier construction programs at Northrop, said completing the development of the detail design phase was an important accomplishment for the design, engineering and construction teams who have worked on the product model since 2001.
Shawcross said “We will continue to develop, mature and extract the engineering and planning instructions for construction from the product model, but we have reached the point where all the initial design data have been loaded into the Product Model and the entire carrier now exists in the virtual environment.”
Some of the improvements incorporated into the design include flight deck changes, enhanced weapons handling systems, and an island design that incorporates the government’s latest technology in warfare, all resulting in increased aircraft sortie rates. It will include advanced nuclear power plants with increased electrical power generation capacity; allowance for future technologies; and reduced workload for the sailors, resulting in a smaller crew size and cut operating costs for the Navy.
The keel of the first ship of the Gerald R. Ford is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015.