Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Navy's Most Expensive Aircraft Carrier Ever Might Miss Its Delivery Date — Again
With only weeks to go, the Navy’s most expensive aircraft carrier to date is on track to miss the service’s November delivery deadline.
That’s the latest slip for the $12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford, which is being built at Huntington Ingalls Industries. The carrier was originally expected to be delivered in 2014 but has been beset by delays, cost overruns and technological problems with unproven systems.
In June and again in July, two of Ford’s electricity-generating main turbines experienced issues. Capt. Thurraya Kent, a spokeswoman for the assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, said the problem originated with a voltage regulator, but she did not provide additional details on the failure.
The Navy is developing an in-place fix for the turbine generators, Kent said, adding that they are not associated with the Ford’s nuclear reactor plant.
It “wouldn’t be prudent” to provide a new delivery date, Kent said, adding that testing continues on the ship’s systems.
As of August, the Ford was 98 percent complete, Kent said. The shipbuilder had turned over 98 percent of the ship’s compartments, and 91 percent of the overall shipboard testing was finished, she said.
“We continue to look for opportunities to get Gerald R. Ford to sea as soon as possible,” Kent said in a statement. “The Navy is evaluating the most cost-effective and efficient schedule to complete sea trials and ship delivery.”
The Pentagon will begin a review of the Ford this month to gather lessons learned from the carrier’s construction and completion. That review is expected to last until mid-December, Mark Wright, a spokesman for the office of the secretary of defense, said.
When testing and integration of systems is complete, the Ford will prove itself to be “a super reliable platform out there that will bring unbelievable capability to the United States Navy, and this will all be a distant memory,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said in an interview following a meeting at Norfolk Naval Station last week.
“What we are seeing is what we see every time a new and very capable and very complex thing is literally brought to life,” he said.
A Pentagon inspector general’s report released in July said mismanagement, software issues, cost overruns and hardware failures had delayed the Ford’s testing of its advanced arresting gear, the system that helps land aircraft on the flight deck. The Navy will determine by December whether to go forward with the system on the next two carriers in the Ford class.
© 2016 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.