Newest US aircraft carrier to miss another delivery deadline

The most expensive ship the U.S. Navy has ever built is once again bound to miss a delivery deadline.

USS Gerald R. Ford, the lead ship of a next generation of U.S. aircraft carriers, was scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2014, but the deadline kept being pushed back.

The latest delivery was scheduled for November this year, but according to a report by the Virginian Pilot, the delivery was delayed again and the Navy did not set a new one.

Defense News reported in September this year that voltage regulator problems on the carrier’s four main turbine generators (MTGs) resulted in an electrical explosion in one of the turbines in June with another, smaller, explosion taking place in July.

“We continue to look for opportunities to get Gerald R. Ford to sea as soon as possible. The Navy is evaluating the most cost-effective and efficient schedule to complete sea trials and ship delivery,” Navy spokesman Capt. Thurraya Kent was quoted as saying by the Virginian Pilot.

Earlier delays were caused by the carrier’s advanced arresting gear system which was, according to Senator John McCain $600 million over budget. Back in 2015, Ford faced a potential two-year delay which could have been caused by shock trial tests which were requested by Michael Gilmore, Director, Operational Test and Evaluation.

With a price tag of $12.9 billion, USS Gerald R. Ford is the most expensive ship in the Navy’s fleet. The $10.5 billion estimate from 2007 rose by 23 percent.

Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was ordered from Newport News Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of Huntington Ingalls Industries, on Sept. 10, 2008. With this new class of ships the U.S. Navy hoped to save $4 billion in total ownership costs during each ship’s 50-year service life, compared to the Nimitz-class.

The 1,100 foot (335 meter) ship displaces 100,000 tonnes and is designed to operate effectively with nearly 700 fewer crew members than a CVN 68-class ship. Improvements in the ship design will, according to the Navy, allow the embarked air wing to operate with approximately 400 fewer personnel.