Carrier of the Future, My Ass

The USS Gerald R. Ford, the US Navy’s $13. Billion carrier of the future, does not have functioning bomb lifts, another “ground breaking” technology that they still have not gotten to work:

The $13 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the U.S. Navy’s costliest warship, was delivered last year without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines for loading on fighter jets.

Previously undisclosed problems with the 11 elevators for the ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. add to long-standing reliability and technical problems with two other core systems — the electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land.

The Advanced Weapons Elevators, which are moved by magnets rather than cables, were supposed to be installed by the vessel’s original delivery date in May 2017. Instead, final installation was delayed by problems including four instances of unsafe “uncommanded movements” since 2015, according to the Navy.

While progress was being made on the carrier’s other flawed systems, the elevator is “our Achilles heel,” Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters in August without providing details.

The elevator system is “just another example of the Navy pushing technology risk into design and construction — without fully demonstrating it,” said Shelby Oakley, a director with the U.S. Government Accountability Office who monitors Navy shipbuilding.

Gee, you think?

Every attempt at making a technological leap on the Ford class carrier has been problematic, whether it’s the catapults, arrestor gear, and now, the munitions lifts.

We’ve seen similar things with the LCS and the Zumwalt class destroyer, and it’s all driven by an almost pathological need to minimize crewing.

It’s a complete cluster-f%$#.

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