The U.S. Navy started construction on a land-based test site at Naval Surface Warfare Center Philadelphia to speed up development of its new weapons elevators, a project that saw a delay due to technical issues, USNI News reported Friday. Capt. Danny Hernandez, spokesperson for Navy acquisition chief James Geurts, said the service aims to complete the facility in 2020.
The site will support tests of the Advanced Weapons Elevators, which are under installation and certification process aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. The Navy originally planned to complete development of all the 11 AWEs in June. However, work is expected to continue through October as only two of the systems have been certified for use.
“AWE is a first-of-kind developmental system without a land-based prototype,” Hernandez said. “The shipboard AWEs have been test beds for discovering many of the remaining developmental issues that have delayed the scheduled turnover to the crew.”
Some issues that delayed the project include physical adjustments and software refinement for AWE’s weapons movement.