Carrier May Not Be Ready Until 2019
By Harold Hutchison
The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), which was supposed to replace the prematurely decommissioned USS Enterprise (CVN 65) in 2016, may not be ready until 2019, and is costing $1.3 billion more than planned, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. The carrier, which is the lead ship of a new class, has seen delays of as long as four and a half years in testing some of its systems.
“Although the Navy has encountered land-based testing delays totaling 2.5 to 4.5 years each for the volume search radar, advanced arresting gear, and EMALS critical technologies, it has elected to not adjust the CVN 78 construction schedule to compensate for these delays. As a result, the Navy and its shipbuilder are constructing CVN 78 with less knowledge about the ship’s critical technologies than it deemed appropriate at contract award in 2008,” the report states.
The United States Navy currently has ten carriers in service, all of the Nimitz class. USS Enterprise was decommissioned in December, 2012, after 51 years of service and 25 deployments.