Here’s How They Get Airplane Munitions Ready on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower

They like to call it Ike, and it is a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. In service since the 1970s, and officially named USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), the fearsome floating arsenal is presently deployed with the U.S. 5th Fleet, supporting the drawdown operations from Afghanistan together with its Strike Group from the waters of the Arabian Sea.
Sailors moving weapons to airplanes on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower 6 photos
Photo: U.S. Navy/Youtube
Weapons for airplanes on USS Dwight D. Eisenhower
And we're talking active support, if we are to trust the words of the sailors serving on board. As per a video published by the U.S. Navy earlier this week, possibly thousands of pieces of precision-guided munitions have been sent on their merry way by the carrier’s airplanes.

The video, shot by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Andrew Waters, gives us a quick and incomplete yet revealing enough glimpse at the journey bombs and missiles taken from deep inside Ike’s belly all the way to the hardpoints that attach them to the fighter planes.

It all starts below decks, in the weapons area, where the munition is stored unassembled. Once the order comes down to have something ready, sailors on duty there set out to put the missiles together and get them ready for deployment.

Once in one piece, they get shipped via elevators to the hangar bay and on the flight deck, passing through several checks at transfer points along the way. Those are meant to ensure they’ve been put together properly and will work as advertised. Once the all-clear is given, the weapons are attached to the planes, which launch on their missions.

The Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group consists of Ike itself, capable of holding 90 fixed-wing airplanes and helicopters, and five guided-missile destroyers and cruisers (USS Monterey, USS Mitscher, USS Laboon, USS Mahan, and USS Thomas Hudner). The airplanes deployed with these ships belong to the Carrier Air Wing 3.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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