Advanced Metalworking Solutions for
Naval Systems that Go in Harm's Way

Weapons and Stores Elevator Door Improvements

Incorporating design for manufacturing improvements will reduce rework costs for Ford Class Carrier construction. Newport News Shipbuilding image


The Navy Metalworking Center (NMC) lead a rapid response project that addressed fabrication issues and schedule impacts by evaluating alternative materials and construction processes, optimizing current manufacturing processes, and implementing design for manufacturing and assembly recommendations.


The new design of the weapons and stores elevator doors for the CVN 78 Class Aircraft Carrier is resulting in extensive rework due to thinner material and tight dimensional tolerances. Complicating this is a large number of unique door configurations per ship.

Technical Approach

NMC and an Integrated Project Team, which includes PEO Aircraft Carriers, NAVSEA 05, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Navy Joining Center and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), will assess improvements in several categories, including:
• Evaluate alternate materials and construction processes.
• Optimize current manufacturing processes.
• Implement design for manufacturing and assembly recommendations.


For CVN 78, a significant number of additional fabrication and labor hours per door were expended due to construction rework and schedule delays. The projected benefits of this project include design for manufacturing improvements in cost, schedule, and quality that can be pursued for CVN 79 construction. A $6M cost savings/avoidance (30% reduction) is targeted per hull. Follow-on efforts will target improvements that can provide greater impact to CVN 79 and future construction.


The results and recommended improvements from this project will be evaluated for implementation viability, cost savings, quality improvement, and schedule reduction. The immediate down-selected improvements will be transitioned to Newport News Shipbuilding to incorporate into CVN 78 construction processes, documentation and procedures in late 2011 and 2012. A follow-on project is anticipated to validate, demonstrate, and implement more significant improve¬ments for future construction on CVN 79 and beyond.




Nicholas McGregor
PMS 378


Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division
Newport News Shipbuilding
PMS 378 Future Aircraft Carriers