Trump to US troops in Japan: 'When we build a new aircraft carrier, we're going to use steam'

Military Tech

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump told U.S. troops stationed in Japan he plans to order traditional steam powered catapults aboard American warships instead of newer electromagnetic systems that he said may not work as well during wartime.


Trump polled the sailors and Marines on the USS Wasp on steam versus electric catapults Tuesday during a visit to the Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo, the biggest overseas U.S. naval installation.

The tour came at the end of the president's four-day state visit to Japan, a key military ally. The troops' cheers were audibly larger for steam catapults — used to launch aircraft off navy ships — and Trump took note.

"We're spending all that money on electric and nobody knows what it's going to be like in bad conditions," he said. "So I think I'm going to put an order — when we build a new aircraft carrier, we're going to use steam."

The U.S. Navy intends to buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said earlier this year. The Ford has long been a source of frustration for Trump, who has bashed the carrier's Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, which is replacing the steam catapults.

Trump told the Japan base's personnel that steam catapults work better than the newer, higher-tech systems.

"Steam's only worked for about 65 years perfectly. And I won't tell you this because it's before my time by a little bit, but they have a $900 million cost overrun on this crazy electric catapult," he said. "They want to show — next, next, next. And we all want innovation, but it's too much."

———

©2019 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

SEE ALSO: The Navy's Urinal-Free Brand New Supercarrier Is A Big Fat Mess

WATCH NEXT: A Look At The USS Gerald R. Ford

(Courtesy of Jackie Melendrez)

Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Iron Mountain. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Iron Mountain is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.

Jackie Melendrez couldn't be prouder of her husband, her sons, and the fact that she works for the trucking company Iron Mountain. This regional router has been a Mountaineer since 2017, and says the support she receives as a military spouse and mother is unparalleled.

Read More Show Less
Photo: U.S. Army

Master Sgt. Larry Hawks, a retired engineer sergeant who served with 3rd Special Forces Group, is being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Friday for "valorous actions" in Afghanistan in 2005.

Read More Show Less

The Iranians just blasted one of the US military's most sophisticated and expensive drones out of the sky as tensions in the Strait of Hormuz reach the boiling point.

Read More Show Less
(Reuters/Lawrence Hurley)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A 40-foot-tall (12 meters) cross-shaped war memorial standing on public land in Maryland does not constitute government endorsement of religion, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday in a decision that leaves unanswered questions about the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution's separation of church and state.

The justices were divided on many of the legal issues but the vote was 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that had declared the so-called Peace Cross in Bladensburg unconstitutional in a legal challenge mounted by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for secular governance. The concrete cross was erected in 1925 as a memorial to troops killed in World War One.

The ruling made it clear that a long-standing monument in the shape of a Christian cross on public land was permissible but the justices were divided over whether other types of religious displays and symbols on government property would be allowed. Those issues are likely to come before the court in future cases.

Read More Show Less
(Associated Press/Facebook)

A relative of the man who opened fire outside downtown Dallas' federal building this week warned the FBI in 2016 that he shouldn't be allowed to buy a gun because he was depressed and suicidal, his mother said Thursday.

Brian Clyde's half-brother called the FBI about his concerns, their mother Nubia Brede Solis said. Clyde was in the Army at the time.

On Monday, Clyde opened fire with an AR-15-style rifle at the Earle Cabell Federal Building. He was fatally shot by federal law enforcement. No one else was seriously injured. His family believes Clyde wanted to be killed.

Read More Show Less