NNS delivers first 3-D printed metal part for aircraft carrier installation

Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding division announced it has delivered the first 3-D-printed metal part to the US Navy for installation on an aircraft carrier.

Don Hamadyk, NNS's director of research and development, presented the first 3-D printed metal part to Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, NAVSEA's chief engineer and deputy commander for ship design, integration, and naval engineering during a ceremony on USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Photo: Matt Hildreth/HII.

The milestone was recognized during a brief ceremony on Monday at Naval Station Norfolk.

The part was presented to Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, Naval Sea Systems Command’s chief engineer and deputy commander for ship design, integration, and naval engineering.

The part—a piping assembly—will be installed on the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and evaluated for a one-year period.

“We are pleased to have worked so closely with our Navy partners to get to the point where the first 3-D metal part will be installed on an aircraft carrier,” said Charles Southall, Newport News’ vice president of engineering and design. “The advancement of additive manufacturing will help revolutionize naval engineering and shipbuilding. It also is a significant step forward in our digital transformation of shipbuilding processes to increase efficiency, safety and affordability. This is an accomplishment we all should be proud of.”

NAVSEA last year approved the technical standards for 3-D printing after collaboration with the company and industry partners that involved the printing of test parts and materials, extensive development of an engineered test program, and publishing of the results. The highly digitized process could lead to cost savings and reduced production schedules for naval ships.