Navy’s $12.9 Billion Carrier Isn’t Ready for Warfare, Memo Says

>> So they built the damn thing only to find out it can't do its job?!


Iran might have a much smaller army, but when we build something it works and we can rely on it. lol.


The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier isn’t ready for warfare.

The
$12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford -- the most expensive warship ever
built -- may struggle to launch and recover aircraft, mount a defense
and move munitions, according to the Pentagon’s top weapons tester.
On-board systems for those tasks have poor or unknown reliability
issues, according to a June 28 memo obtained by Bloomberg News.


“These four systems affect major areas of flight operations,” Michael
Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and
evaluation, wrote Pentagon and Navy weapons buyers Frank Kendall and
Sean Stackley. “Unless these issues are resolved, which would likely
require redesigning” of the aircraft launch and recovery systems “they
will significantly limit the CVN-78’s ability to conduct combat
operations,” Gilmore wrote, using a technical name for the carrier.More DelaysThe reliability woes mean that delivery of the
Ford -- the first of three carriers ordered up in a $42 billion program
-- will probably slip further behind schedule. The Navy announced
last week that the ship, originally due by September 2014, wouldn’t be
delivered before November this year because of continuing unspecified
testing issues.The service has operated 10 carriers since the
retirement of the USS Enterprise in 2012. Extended deployments of the
remaining ships have placed stress on crews and meant added strain
meeting global commitments from the battle against Islamic State to
ensuring freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, home to $5
trillion in annual trade.A prolonged delay could also hamper the military if a new conflict arises.

“Based
on current reliability estimates, the CVN-78 is unlikely to conduct
high-intensity flight operations” such as a requirement for four days of
24-hour surge operations “at the outset of a war,” Gilmore wrote.As
delivery of the Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. vessel approaches,
“my concerns about the reliability of these systems remain and the risk
to the ship’s ability to succeed in combat grows as these reliability
issues remain unresolved,” Gilmore said.‘Unacceptable’ DelaysRepublican
Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee,
called the Navy’s announcement of additional delays last week
“unacceptable,” adding that it was a “case study in why our acquisition
system must be reformed.” A Navy spokeswoman, Lieutenant Kara
Yingling, said the Navy was aware of the report but referred additional
comment to Kendall’s office. Kendall spokesman Mark Wright said in an
e-mail "we don’t feel it is appropriate to release our response to this
internal memo.”The Navy has said that Newport News,
Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls is performing well as the shipbuilder.
Many of the technologies installed on the first-of-class carrier are
produced by other companies. As of last month, the ship’s construction
was 98 percent complete, the Navy said. Huntington Ingalls has turned
over 97 percent of the carrier’s compartments and 89 percent of
shipboard testing is completed, the Navy said.Ship TrialsThe
Navy plans to deploy the Ford by 2021 for worldwide operations after a
series of maintenance and training exercises and completion of full
ship-shock trials by fiscal 2018, so there is time to correct
deficiencies before potential combat operations. Yet the problems cited
so far are critical for the vessel’s success.Gilmore said the
carrier’s advanced arresting gear for snagging landing aircraft and the
launch system, both made by General Atomics of San Diego, are
experiencing different but still inadequate levels of reliability.
Meghan Ehlke, a General Atomics spokeswoman, didn’t respond to an e-mail
seeking comment.The arresting gear, which was criticized by the
Pentagon’s inspector general in a July 6 report, has the most serious
reliability limitations and “is unlikely to support high-intensity
flight operations,” Gilmore said. Reliability “is well below
expectations and well below what is needed to succeed in combat.”Arresting GearThe
Navy estimates the arresting gear could be operated for approximately
25 consecutive landings, or cycles, between critical failures. That
means it has a “negligible probability of completing” a 4-day surge
“without an operational mission failure,” Gilmore wrote.The
electro-magnetic launch system’s reliability is higher but “nonetheless I
have concerns,” Gilmore wrote. Recent Navy data indicates the carrier
can conduct only 400 launches between critical failures, “well below the
requirement” of 4,166 takeoffs, Gilmore wrote.Gilmore said the
system would have to increase its reliability to 1,600 launches between
critical failures “to have a 90 percent chance of completing a day of
sustained operations.” The Navy program office’s determined that the
carrier “has less than a 7 percent chance of completing the four-day
combat surge” plan, Gilmore wrote.Radar SystemsThe reliability of Raytheon Co.’s dual-band radar used for
air-traffic control and self-defense against aircraft and missiles “is
unknown.” Land testing of the system is using software still under
development and some hardware reliability issues have surfaced, he said.
Testing indicates failure rates of power sources and transmit-receive
modules have dropped but a production model of the radar “will not be
fully tested” until the ship goes to sea, he said.Nonetheless,
the Navy has praised the radar system, saying that in testing all six of
the arrays designed to detect and track targets “have been successfully
energized at high power” and “targets of opportunity” have been
successfully tracked.Testing also has been limited in the
elevators used to move bombs between magazines and flight desk so “their
reliability is unknown and is a risk,” Gilmore said. The Ford is
designed to have 11 advanced weapons elevators.

Added:

By: UraniumConversionPlantNr4 (126.60)

Tags: aircraft carrier, USA, US navy, NATO, Russia, pathetic

Location: United States