The U.S. Navy certified the USS Gerald R. Ford's sixth advanced weapons elevator on Wednesday. Lower Stage Weapons Elevator 1 is built to ferry ordnance from USS Ford's aft magazine complex to the flight deck through the vessel's forward weapons handling and transfer area, the service branch said Thursday.
USS Ford personnel is slated to determine operational procedures, train crewmembers and test the AWE in an at-sea environment following the certification.
“Ship’s force is testing the elevators in real-world environments as they train for full operational capability,” said Capt. Brian Metcalf, program manager for USS Ford.
The Navy noted the certification of USS Ford's remaining five AWEs are on-schedule as the vessel is set to undergo full-ship shock tests in fiscal year 2021. USS Ford's AWEs have recorded over 10,300 operational cycles.