US Navy’s most expensive ship ever delayed again

Illustration: HII photo of USS Gerald R. Ford in dry dock

Delivery of the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford has once again been delayed as the ship will not be delivered to the navy before November 2016.

Back in April 2016, it was said the ship would be ready for delivery by September 2016.

The U.S. Navy did not specify why exactly the ship will be late but just said that Huntington Ingalls, the company in charge of constructing the carrier, was working on first-of-class issues together with the navy.

U.S. Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the entire situation was unacceptable and entirely preventable.

“The Navy’s announcement of another two-month delay in the delivery of CVN-78 further demonstrates that key systems still have not demonstrated expected performance. The advanced arresting gear (AAG) cannot recover airplanes. Advanced weapons elevators cannot lift munitions. The dual-band radar cannot integrate two radar bands,” McCain said.

He added that even if everything went according to plan, the CVN-78 would be delivered with multiple systems unproven.

What caused most problems in the shipbuilding program was the advanced arresting gear system which is, according to McCain $600 million over budget. Ford faced additional delays caused by shock trial tests which could have potentially pushed delivery back by two years.

The ship’s cost also rose by 23 percent to $12.9 billion, as opposed to a $10.5 billion estimate from 2007. This price tag makes the USS Gerald R. Ford and the other two ships in the class the most expensive ships the U.S. Navy has ever built.

 

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