US Navy contract: Goldhofer axles shoulder the USS Coronado, a vessel in the Independence class
In addition to heavy-duty transportation specialists around the globe, the Pentagon also entrusts its treasures to innovative transport technology from Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft of Memmingen, Germany. The US Navy turned to Berard Transportation Inc., an old-established Goldhofer customer, to handle no less a project than the launch of the USS Coronado, the latest in the Independence class of vessels, costing no less than 440 million dollars. Berard, a leading specialist for heavy haulage in the USA, makes consistent use of Goldhofer’s heavy-duty technology and for the Coronado mission deployed a total of 104 axle lines in the form of Goldhofer PST/ES-E and PST/SL-E heavy-duty modules with multiway steering. A CAN bus was used for electronic synchronization of the hydraulic functions of the two types of vehicle. That made it possible for the complete configuration to be handled by a single operator using remote control.
The first step of the project was to load the 2800-ton navy ship onto Goldhofer’s self-propelled PST/SL-E modules in the Alabama shipyard belonging to the Australian shipbuilder Austal and transfer it to a floating dock so that it could be moved to a dry dock further downstream. There the Goldhofer axle lines were used to move the 127-meter-long and 30-meter-wide colossus, which is built mainly of aluminum, into the dock for the actual launch.
Chief Operating Officer Braedon Berard: “For us, it is naturally a great distinction to be entrusted with a highly prestigious job of such importance for our country. It was a superb experience and also a great pleasure to cooperate with the specialists from Austal.”
“We had just two days to handle the project, and thanks to our long years of experience with special transportation work and the reliable equipment from Goldhofer, we completed the job on time and without any incidents. We can always rely on our Goldhofer axle lines. We are very happy to have such a strong partner as Goldhofer behind us for handling challenging assignments,” says Braedon.
The Goldhofer PST/E-SE and PST/SL-E modules employed to move the USS Coronado have hydrostatic drive and electronic multiway steering and offer maximum flexibility. In addition to the standard steering modes (normal, diagonal, transversal and carousel), the Goldhofer self-propelled modules can be operated with special steering programs without the need for major modifications to the vehicle combination. The heart of the affair with any self-propelled vehicle is the power pack, which is available in a 155 kW and a 360 kW version. This is the drive unit for the hydrostatic drive and houses all the controls and instruments for the self-propelled vehicles.
“The US Navy contract is an excellent reference for our company, too, and I’m very pleased we were once again able to help Braedon and his fine team handle such an impressive project. In Memmingen, we are of course very proud to see the world’s most expensive and important vessels traveling on Goldhofer axles before they are launched,” says Stefan Fuchs, CEO at Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft.
The USS Coronado is the latest addition to the US Navy’s fleets. It is a littoral combat ship, a new type of warship that the USA wants to deploy as it intensifies the fight against terrorism. The USS Coronado will be commissioned this year and will be stationed in San Diego (California).