Delivery of US Navy’s first Gerald R Ford aircraft carrier delayed again

14 July 2016 (Last Updated July 14th, 2016 18:30)

US Senator John McCain has announced that the delivery of the US Navy’s first USS Gerald R Ford nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN-78) will be delayed by another two months.

US Senator John McCain has announced that the delivery of the US Navy’s first USS Gerald R Ford nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN-78) will be delayed by another two months.

McCain said that the delay in the delivery follows as key systems of the vessel are yet to demonstrate expected performance.

In a statement, McCain said: “The advanced arresting gear (AAG) cannot recover airplanes. Advanced weapons elevators cannot lift munitions. The dual-band radar cannot integrate two radar bands.”

"This situation is unacceptable and was entirely preventable."

US Navy spokesperson captain Thurraya S Kent was quoted by media sources as saying that the current expected delivery date of the carrier is in November this year, which is more than two years late, and could be revised if additional issues arise during testing.

Cain added: “This situation is unacceptable and was entirely preventable.

“The Ford-class programme is a case study in why our acquisition system must be reformed unrealistic business cases, poor cost estimates, new systems rushed to production, concurrent design and construction, and problems testing systems to demonstrate promised capability.

“After more than $2.3bn in cost overruns has increased its cost to nearly $13bn, the taxpayers deserve to know when CVN-78 will actually be delivered, how much developmental risk remains in the programme, if cost overruns will continue, and who is being held accountable.”

The US Navy said that construction of the vessel was 98% complete as of last month.


Image: Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier at the drydock. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J Wahl.