Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Navy’s $12.9 Billion Carrier Falls Further Behind Schedule

The USS Gerald R. Ford -- the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier and the costliest U.S. warship at $12.9 billion -- won’t be delivered until at least November, more than two years late.
“During the ongoing testing of developmental systems” on the carrier built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., “first-of-class issues are continuing to be resolved,” according to a Navy statement provided Tuesday to Bloomberg News. “The current estimated delivery date is in November 2016. If additional issues arise during the remaining shipboard testing, that date may need to be revised.”
The service didn’t elaborate on the unresolved issues causing the delay except to say that testing is continuing for “the propulsion plant steam and electric systems,” which are powered by the carrier’s nuclear reactor. The latest schedule slip of at least two months may delay the Navy’s return to an 11-carrier fleet, the number mandated by Congress. The service has operated 10 carriers since the retirement of the USS Enterprise in 2012. Extended deployments of the remaining ships have placed stress on crews, the service has said. more