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USS Gerald R. Ford’s final weapons elevator passes its tests — 11 years after original due date

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(Tribune News Service) — The last of USS Gerald R. Ford’s 11 weapons elevators, one of four major new technologies on the Navy’s newest carrier, has been formally delivered — some 11 years after the original due date.

The elevators can lift more weight — up to 24,000 pounds — than those on other carriers. Their design also allows significantly safer operation.

But formal delivery meant verifying how each of the elevators fit in their different spaces on the Ford, a challenging task since they don’t work properly if critical parts are knocked out of place. The tolerances for that are less than one-sixteenth of an inch.

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