Originally published on registercitizen.com on October 2, 2016.
When the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), joins the Navy Fleet it will be the most advanced warship in the world with shock-hardened AC motors and state of the art motor controllers manufactured at Ward Leonard in Thomaston.
Ford’s delivery to the Navy will mark the accomplishment of years of construction and design and countless hours of work. Ward Leonard and its workforce of 165 men and women are part of the industrial base that supplies parts and services to Newport News Shipbuilding.
Matt Mulherin, executive vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) and president of Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS), which builds the Ford in Newport News, Virginia, stated, “More than 1 million parts are made by thousands of large and small companies in almost every state across the country to build Gerald R. Ford, one of the most complex machines ever made. We are grateful for our suppliers’ hard work, efficiency and dedication in producing high quality parts and products for this great ship.”
Ford is the first new carrier design in 40 years and reflects concepts and technologies matured during 100 years of U.S. Navy carrier operations. Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Seapower Subcommittee about the ship, “The Ford-class design improves warfighting capability, survivability, operational availability, and quality of life for sailors, while reducing total billets, including ship’s crew
and airwing, by nearly 1,200 personnel and decreasing total ownership costs by approximately $4 billion per ship.”
“The conduct and performance of the companies that have provided the parts and products have been critical to the success of the construction of Ford and John F. Kennedy,” said Rear Admiral Brian Antonio, the Program Executive Officer for the U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier
Program. “A strong industrial base made up of large and small companies is very important to the continued strength of our shipbuilding program and our national defense.”
Ward Leonard, supported by over 175 Connecticut suppliers and subcontractors, provides over $30 million worth of parts and services for the new construction of Ford-class aircraft carriers and overhaul work for Nimitz-class ships over the past five years.
“I’m proud of the contributions Ward Leonard makes to keep U.S. Navy aircraft carriers the strongest in the world,” said Mike Clute, Ward Leonard’s President. “While most people may not be aware, Connecticut contributions to the power and strength of theses great U.S Navy ship are substantial.” Ford will soon take its place in the nation’s carrier fleet, where it will continue the legacy of air power from the sea as the cornerstone of U.S. military supremacy around the globe.
More information on Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78): http://www.thefordclass.com. Learn more aboutWard Leonard, located at 401 Watertown Road in Thomaston, at www.wardleonard.com.