The Navy has accepted delivery of the aircraft carrier Ford.
“The Navy accepted delivery of the first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on May 31, following the completion of acceptance trials on May 26 …” (1)
This continues the Navy’s practice of accepting substantially incomplete ships which began with the first LCS’s, continued with the LPD-17 class, included the Zumwalt, and now counts the Ford in this should-be criminal practice.
The Navy issued a contract for the construction and delivery of a COMPLETE aircraft carrier. The Navy is accepting delivery of a substantially INCOMPLETE aircraft carrier. In fact, parts of the ship are not only incomplete but are actually damaged, as we’ve documented in previous posts.
Here’s a list of known incomplete or damaged items that the Navy just accepted. I’m not going to document these in this post since I’ve extensively documented them in previous posts.
EMALS – cannot safely launch Hornets and Growlers with wing mounted external fuel tanks; system cannot be electrically isolated for repairs; induces unsafe oscillations of the F-35 during launch; reliability is poor with Mean Cycles Between Critical Failure (MCBCF) – a cycle is one launch – of 340 versus the target of 4,166 – every 340 launches, you’re tossin’ a plane in the drink!
Main Turbine Generator - Ford has suffered major main turbine generator (MTG) failures (an explosion of the No. 2 MTG and a similar event with the No 1 MTG) which have crippled half the the ship’s main generators. The No. 2 MTG is non-functional and will be repaired sometime after the ship is commissioned.
Advanced Arresting Gear – The Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) is essentially non-functional, having had to undergo recent fundamental redesigns due to equipment failures. Further, the most recent reliability data indicates the AAG is non-functional. The MCBCF requirement for the arresting gear is one every 16,500. The actual MCBCF is 20. That’s a critical failure every 20 recoveries!
Weapon Elevators – cited in 2016 DOT&E Annual Report
Berthing – insufficient berthing for the CVN-78 Service Lilfe Allowance
Dual Band Radar - testing has uncovered tracking, clutter/false
track, track continuity, and engagement support problems, according to the 2016 DOT&E Annual Report
Joint Precision Approach and Landing System (JPALS) – system has been indefinitely deferred for budgetary reasons
This is just a selection of the problems that have come to light. There are, undoubtedly, many others.
What is the point of sea trials and inspections if you’re going to accept the ship no matter what condition it’s in? They may as well just cancel trials and inspections and save some money.
Not only will the Navy accept delivery of a badly damaged ship but it will also commission a badly damaged ship. A commissioned ship is supposed to be combat ready.
This is just stupidity beyond belief. The only justification for accepting a damaged ship is a feeble and fraudulent attempt to generate positive public relations.
(1)USNI News website, “Carrier Ford Delivers To Navy After 15 Months of Delays”, Megan Eckstein,