Newport News T O T HE
As of September, the electricians on Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) have installed 8.5 million feet of cable – enough to run from Newport News to Denver, Colorado. The ship now holds more cable than any previous aircraft carrier. By the time they finish installing the last 1.1 million feet, the total length would reach deep into the Rocky Mountains – more than 1,800 miles of cable. “We really started pulling cable on this ship in 2011,” said Ryan Hollowell, an electrician general foreman. At peak, more than 800 electricians were involved with cable installation on CVN 78. “It took a huge team effort to get here,” said Hollowell.
It took several years and approximately 350 engineers and designers to develop the cable architecture for the next-generation aircraft carrier. Many systems that were steam-powered or hydraulic on the Nimitz-class will be powered by electricity on the Ford-class, from weapons elevators to water heaters. Even the amount of lighting and air conditioning is increased. To feed the extra demand, Gerald R. Ford has a distribution system with a 250 percent increase in electrical capacity and 2.5 million feet of additional cable. “That’s a lot more cable to fit into the ship,” said Matt Edelen, an electrician foreman. “Plus, we had to install it
Yardlines is a monthly magazine published ten times per year featuring Newport News shipbuilders and major events at the shipyard.