View Full Version : Navy's Priciest Aircraft Carrier Delivered Without Elevators To Lift Bombs

11-06-2018, 03:21 PM
The F-35 finally has some competition for costliest boondoggle in American military history.

According to Bloomberg, the most expensive Navy warship to date, the $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, was delivered last year without the elevators it needed to lift bombs from below deck for loading on to fighter jets. The "advanced weapons" elevators were supposed to have been installed by the ship's delivery date of May 2017. However, technical problems have caused repeated delays to the installation. While answering questions from reporters, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer described the elevator system as "our Achilles heel."

One government analyst described the system as "just another example of the Navy pushing technology risk into design and construction, without fully demonstrating it."

The problems are raising the possibility that the Navy won't have enough money left over to bundle a third and fourth carriers into the $58 billion contract to develop the Ford class of ships. The initiative is part of the Navy's effort to expand its fleet to 355 from 284 by the mid-2030s. However, one Navy weapons buyer said "considerable progress" had been made on the Ford, including on the elevators, in a memo released back in July.

Another spokesman said six of the eleven elevators are close enough to being finished that the shipbuilder can operate them.

William Couch, a spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command, said the elevators are "in varying levels of construction and testing."

Six are far enough along to be operated by the shipbuilder, and testing has started on two of those, he said. All 11 “should have been completed and delivered with the ship delivery,” according to Couch.

He said the contractor has corrected "all issues," including the "four uncommanded movements over the last three years that were discovered during the building, operational grooming, or testing phases."

You can putter around trying to solve these problems now when no threat exists. What would the builders do if a sudden build up with multiple ships be required ?


11-06-2018, 04:00 PM
Is this normal? I wasn't in the Navy.

DumbAss Tanker
11-06-2018, 07:40 PM
Is this normal? I wasn't in the Navy.

The Ford is an advanced technology clusterfuck. Everything that could just as easily be manual or analog (And thus repairable by damage control parties) is digitally controlled and unfixable if it fries under battle stress. It also has the linear accelerator catapults instead of the steam cats all the other carriers have, which the tech guys in the Pentagon think are the tits but the petty officers responsible to run them in testing say is more like the shits.
They involve extreme currents over long stretches at the flight deck level so are exposed to even superficial structural damage and God knows what'd blow if one was damaged while under power in an AC launch.

11-06-2018, 08:05 PM
I wonder if it has a regular key or one of those key fobs that costs a fortune to duplicate?

11-06-2018, 11:56 PM
I wonder if it has a regular key or one of those key fobs that costs a fortune to duplicate?

It has 9,836,393 parts and no starter button.