The U.S. Navy's Latest Aircraft Carrier Will Be Delayed in Delivery

David Axe

David Axe

Security,

The U.S. Navy has delayed by three months the delivery of the first Ford-class supercarrier. It's the latest setback for a high-tech new ship that's supposed to be the centerpiece of the Navy's future fleet, but which has proved to have serious design flaws.

The U.S. Navy's Latest Aircraft Carrier Will Be Delayed in Delivery

The Navy can't afford many more delays with Ford. The sailing branch has proposed to decommission the 21-year-old Nimitz-class carrier USS Harry S. Truman in the early 2020s, just halfway through her planned service life, in order to free up billions of dollars for newer ships including Ford-class carriers.

The U.S. Navy has delayed by three months the delivery of the first Ford-class supercarrier. It's the latest setback for a high-tech new ship that's supposed to be the centerpiece of the Navy's future fleet, but which has proved to have serious design flaws.

(This first appeared last month.)

The delay also could weigh on the Navy's controversial proposal to decommission one older carrier decades earlier than the fleet previously had planned.

Citing problems with the new supercarrier's nuclear propulsion system and weapons elevators plus minor tweaks testers identified during Ford's post-construction shakedown cruise, James Geurts, the Navy's top acquisitions official, on March 26, 2019 told the U.S. House Armed Services Committee's seapower and projection forces subcommittee that Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia would deliver Ford in October 2019 rather than in July.

"All three of those causal factors – making the adjustments to the nuclear power plant that we noted during sea trials, fitting in all of the post-shakedown availability workload and finishing up the elevators – they’re all trending about the same time," Geurts told the subcommittee.

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