WATCH: Augmented Reality Tablets Used to Build Ships

Photo from Huntington Ingalls

The company that builds the Navy’s aircraft carriers is using augmented reality technology to bring shipbuilding into the 21st Century.

This video from Huntington Ingalls shows how augmented-reality tablets can allow shipbuilders to “see through” a ship’s hardware and overlay designs and other information onto a real space as technicians move around.

It’s part of a larger plan to make shipbuilding paperless, Matt Mulherin, corporate vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries and president of Newport News Shipbuilding, told reporters at the Sea Air Space expo near Washington, D.C.

He added that tablets can also contain training videos, safety films and other instructions for shipyard workers. In coming years, he said, the concept may expand even further.

My vision for this whole thing is you know, Red Box,” he said. “you can tell Red Box who you are and it hands you an iPad with your work downloaded for the day.”

At the end of the day, Mulherin added, workers can return their tablets to the central “Red Box” location, where they will be reset with the next day’s work and information.

Huntington Ingalls has now completed 98 percent of work on CVN 78, the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, Mulherin said. The next in the Ford class of “supercarriers,” CVN 79, the John F. Kennedy, is now about 20 percent complete, he said. The company is now purchasing steel for construction of the third ship in the class, CVN 80, the Enterprise.

“Our goal is to be drawing with this [tablet technology] by CVN 80,” Mulherin said. “It will be the first drawingless ship, and we think that the savings associated with that are tremendous. Today the Navy is helping us when we look at how we go do this, how do we do this efficiently, what are the savings associated with that.”


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Hope Hodge Seck
Hope Hodge Seck is a reporter at She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.