The U.S. Navy's Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier Ever Has Some Problems

David Axe
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David Axe

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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.

The U.S. Navy's Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier Ever Has Some Problems

Rep. Rob Wittman, a Virginia Republican who sits on the House's seapower subcommittee, told Navy officials they shouldn't shrink the carrier fleet while the Chinese navy is growing its own force of flattops. China has one carrier in service and is building at least two more.

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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