Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS) and sailors have fixed the issues with the propulsion plant of the US Navy’s USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78).
Sailors assigned to the Gerald R Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier’s Reactor Department and HII-NNS technicians reached the propulsion plant completion date (PPCD) after more than a year of maintenance and repairs.
The navy has accepted the re-delivery of the propulsion plant. The milestone brings the ship closer to returning to sea.
Ford reactor officer commander Emily Bassett said: “For the past year or so, the focus has been supporting the shipyard in propulsion plant production work.
“With hard work, innovation, and teamwork, reactor department sailors and their shipyard counterparts together have achieved a major milestone. We now enter the transition phase, where our focus shifts from a shipyard production work mindset to a ship’s force operational and maintenance mindset.”
Troubles relating to the carrier’s propulsion system were first detected during sea trials in January last year.
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A component in the propulsion train was found to be operating outside of design specifications. The problem was attributed to a manufacturing defect.
In May last year, another propulsion plant issue appeared during testing and evaluation of CVN-78.
This time, the issue was determined to be associated with a design modification. As a result, the ship had to return to its homeport. USS Gerald R Ford returned to sea later that month.
During the tests, the navy and Newport News decided that the manufacturing defects would be fixed during Ford’s post-shakedown availability (PSA). The vessel is currently undergoing its PSA at HII-NSS.