Sea Platforms

Newport News close to establishing Ford weapons elevator digital twin

23 September 2019

The Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard is closer to establishing a virtual – or digital – twin of the Advanced Weapons Elevators (AWE) in the Virginia Advanced Shipbuilding and Carrier Integration Center (VASCIC), according to yard officials.

“We are developing a digital twin [for AWE] in VASCIC,” Ken Mahler, vice-president of Navy Programs at Newport News Shipbuilding, told Jane’s . “It’s up and incrementally functioning right now.”

Mike Butler, Ford-class aircraft carrier John F Kennedy (CVN 79) programme director, told Jane’s, “We’ve already used it.”

The yard and US Navy (USN) decided to develop digital twins for the AWE because issues involving meeting sequencing and tolerance requirements have held up construction completion for the ship. Contractors and the USN have begun to rely on digital twins for different systems to help with development, maintenance, and innovation.

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