The Navy’s first new Ford class aircraft carrier won’t debut until at late 2015, but when it does it will be more gender neutral than the old Nimitz class carriers.
Citing a report in the Navy Times, CNN
says the new carriers, named for the late President Gerald R. Ford, “will be the first to go without urinals” to give the service more “flexibility in accommodating female sailors.”
The decision to go with standard toilets means the heads, or restrooms, will be able to accommodate both men and women. They will, for the first time, also be located immediately adjacent to living quarters, eliminating the problem of having to pass through passageways in order to use the facilities.
The design of new berthing compartments will also be more gender neutral, and will accommodate fewer sailors than the bigger compartments now that can sleep more than 100. The new quarters will be designed to hold no more than 20 to 50 sailors.
Capt. Chris Meyer, manager of the Future Aircraft Carriers Program for the Naval Sea Systems Command, told CNN that a number of other improvements are being made as well to improve working and living conditions onboard.
“There’s a lot more at play in the design objectives than (making the toilet areas) gender-neutral. We’re saving money in maintenance costs, and we’re improving quality of life,” Meyer told CNN.
According to CNN, three Ford carriers are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2027 at a projected cost of $37 billion.
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