Navy Certifies New Weapons Elevator for Gerald R. Ford Carrier

The U.S. Navy has certified the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier’s fifth lower-stage advanced weapons elevator at Naval Station Norfolk, exhibiting an accelerated pace of operations.

Rear Adm. James Downey, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, said in a statement posted Wednesday the elevator’s certification demonstrates Ford’s ability to quickly transport artillery from the carrier’s deeper segments to the flight deck.

The latest elevator’s certification follows at-sea tests where the carrier, also known as CVN 78, demonstrated flight deck operations, aircraft recovery and catapult launches. Ford’s 32-day sea trial allowed the carrier to receive certification for the flight deck.

“In just the last few weeks, we’ve seen an increase in the velocity of flight deck operations and new system certifications aboard Gerald R. Ford that’s beyond impressive,” said Downey.

The ship has already completed over six months of the 18-month post-delivery test and trials phase.

Twelve sailors from Ford will attend a 16-hour online training session at a nearby facility to learn more about elevator operation. Huntington Ingalls Industries, the ship’s contractor, will task an instructor to conduct the web-based training.

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