“With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly premature to include so many unproven technologies” on the vessel, from those needed to generate power and launch and land aircraft to its radar and elevators to move munitions, Frank Kendall said in an Aug. 23 memo addressed to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and obtained by Bloomberg News.
The review comes three months before the carrier is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy. The Ford is being built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., with advanced systems from a number of subcontractors, including Raytheon Co. and General Atomics.
The Navy plans to deploy the Ford, designated CVN-78, for worldwide operations by 2021 after a series of maintenance and training exercises and completion of full-ship shock trials by fiscal 2018, so there is time to correct deficiencies before potential combat operations. Yet resolving the problems cited so far are critical for the vessel’s success. more