❝ The $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the U.S. Navy’s costliest warship, was delivered last year without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines for loading on fighter jets.
❝ Previously undisclosed problems with the 11 elevators for the ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. add to long-standing reliability and technical problems with two other core systems — the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land…
Problems with the elevators add to questions about the Navy’s plan to bundle the third and fourth carriers in the $58 billion Ford class into one contract. It’s part of the service’s push to expand its 284-ship fleet to 355 as soon as the mid-2030s.
❝ Congress gave the Navy permission for the two-at-once contract in this year’s defense spending and policy bills despite the unresolved technical issues and the lack of a Navy estimate so far of how much money it would save the service…
Same as it ever was. At least since the end of World war 2.
10 thoughts on “US Navy took delivery of an aircraft carrier missing elevators to bring bombs to aircraft”
And, to make the temporary elevator operators more efficient…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0HcDmjiIYE
Okay, that’s one. Only 39 more to go.
At this moment, I’m watching an even happier version of the same kind of song a little further along the same coast: 1st half, Bournemouth 1 – 0 Manchester United. Hope it holds up.
Crap! Martial equalized for Man U.
U.S. Navy awards $14.9B contract for two Ford-class aircraft carriers (Feb 1, 2019) https://defence-blog.com/news/u-s-navy-awards-14-9b-contract-for-two-ford-class-aircraft-carriers.html According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding is awarded the detail design and construction (DD&C) efforts for nuclear-powered aircraft carriers Enterprise (CVN 80) and unnamed CVN 81 under the following contract actions: (1) A $14,917,738,145 fixed-price-incentive-firm target modification to previously awarded contract N00024-16-C-2116 for DD&C efforts for the future USS Enterprise (CVN 80) and unnamed CVN 81. Work is expected to be completed by February 2032.
See also: “Would Trump’s border wall cost the same as one and a half U.S. aircraft carriers?” (April, 2017) https://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2017/apr/28/scott-peters/would-trumps-border-wall-cost-same-one-and-half-us/
March 4, 2019: “In the shadow of summit and scandal last week, there was stunning news from the Defense Department: “The Pentagon has decided to cut the aircraft carrier fleet from 11 today to 10,” Breaking Defense reported. “By retiring the Nimitz-class supercarrier USS Harry S. Truman at least two decades early, rather than refueling its nuclear reactor core in 2024 as planned, the military would save tens of billions on overhaul and operations costs that it could invest in other priorities.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/05/who-is-mothballing-us-carrier-why/?utm_term=.c804c86b385b See also https://breakingdefense.com/2019/02/pentagon-to-retire-uss-truman-early-shrinking-carrier-fleet-to-10/ (note also “operating the carrier costs about $1 billion a year
“On Costliest U.S. Warship Ever, Navy Can’t Get Munitions on Deck” (Bloomberg July 30, 2019)
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-30/flawed-elevators-on-13-billion-carrier-miss-another-deadline Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said in January that he told President Donald Trump to fire him if the service couldn’t fix the weapons elevators by July. Instead, Trump praised the Ford as “phenomenal” on July 22.
The elevators aren’t the only issue plaguing the $13 billion ship, which has had problems with two other core systems — the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land.
Senate Armed Services Chairman James Inhofe on Wednesday questioned Vice Admiral Michael Gilday, Trump’s nominee for chief of naval operations, about the vessel’s progress during his confirmation hearing.
“The ship was accepted by the Navy incomplete, nearly two years late, two-and-a-half billion dollars over budget, and 9 of 11 weapons elevators still don’t work with costs continuing to grow,” Inhofe said.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Wednesday called Rep. Elaine Luria’s criticisms about the delays affecting the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier “disparaging” and not helpful.
https://warisboring.com/navy-secretary-spencer-fires-back-at-congresswomans-criticism-of-uss-gerald-ford-delays/ “I look at her and other leadership on [Capitol] Hill who continually disparaged the Ford as a program, and I get a little upset,” he said during a discussion at the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C., think tank. “You could not ask for a better disinformation program for our competitors. And I truly mean that.”
Tuesday during a House Armed Services Committee subpanel on readiness, Luria, D-Va., questioned the Ford’s costs and delays, including the ship’s troubled elevators. She called the Ford — the newest aircraft carrier being constructed by the Navy — “a nuclear-powered floating berthing barge that’s not deployable because of the aircraft elevators and the yet untested dual-band radar, catapults and arresting gear.”
On Wednesday, Luria issued a statement responding to Spencer’s comments. She pointed out that Spencer had made a promise to President Donald Trump in January that the weapons elevators on the Ford would be functioning by the end of summer, but they still are not.
“I find it disappointing that the secretary finds congressional oversight disparaging,” Luria said in the prepared statement. “I have yet to see a detailed plan to fix the multitude of problems with these new technologies. The Navy accepted the design of these systems and accepted the ship in an incomplete state…so it is absolutely my role to question Navy leadership on their current failure to deliver an operational ship to the fleet.”
About $13 billion has been invested in the ship, according the Luria. The ship’s 11 weapons elevators, which are needed to load ordnance on planes, have been a problem for years. The Navy commissioned the ship in July 2017 without any working elevators. The ship’s electromagnetic catapult system for launching aircraft has also faced issues.
The U.S. Navy next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), returned to sea for this week for a series of sea trials prior to returning to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
The sea trials took place off the U.S. east coast after the aircraft carrier completed a 15-month pierside maintenance period, known as a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA), at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS). The more than $12.9 billion aircraft carrier also had to undergo repairs to its elevator systems and issues with its nuclear propulsion system arising in early 2018.
Four years after the U.S. Navy’s costliest warship was hobbled by a flaw in its propulsion system, prime contractor Huntington Ingalls Industries and subcontractor General Electric are still haggling over who will pay for fixing the defect.
The $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford was forced to return to port during post-delivery sea trials in early 2018 after the failure of a main thrust bearing, a key propulsion system component that’s made by GE.
The Ford returned to sea for additional trials after the damage was contained. Now, the Navy wants to deploy it by midyear on its first operational patrol after years of problems and delays, formally bringing its carrier force to 11.
The Navy has declined to say how much it paid Huntington, although in 2018 it asked Congress to shift $30 million from other accounts to start work. https://gcaptain.com/ge-shipyard-unpaid-super-carrier-bill/