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    US Aircraft Carriers - Carrier Groups:


    max steel

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    Re: US Aircraft Carriers - Carrier Groups:

    Post  max steel on Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:52 pm

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

    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 Delays

    The 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’ Delays

    Republican 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.”


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    Re: US Aircraft Carriers - Carrier Groups:

    Post  JohninMK on Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:37 am

    Couple of issues just been exposed but shouldn't slow things much. I like the way they can just conjure up the $39M or so to repair the generators out of 'savings'.

    WASHINGTON – For over a year, the US Navy and its shipbuilders have been anxious to get the new aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) to sea and begin engineering trials of the first-of-class design. A number of publicly-announced target dates have come and gone, but the ship is still firmly moored at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.

    Now, however, a key factor in preventing the ship from casting off lines and getting underway is coming into view. A serious voltage regulator problem on the carrier’s four main turbine generators (MTGs) has prevented engineers from running the motors up to full power, and only now has the problem been identified and a fix decided upon.

    The MTGs are a significant element in the ship’s power generation system – an all-new layout supporting a plant developing at least three times the electrical power of previous carriers.

    The problem manifested itself June 12 when a small electrical explosion took place on the No. 2 MTG during testing. Navy sources disagree whether the term “explosion” is appropriate, but two sources familiar with the situation used the reference, one noting that “it was enough of an explosion that debris got into the turbine.” Smoke from the event reportedly was drawn into other spaces, one source reported.
    But, according to sources, the June 12 event severely damaged the No. 2 MTG, and the accident slowed further MTG testing until the problem could be identified. Then in July, a similar, less-dramatic event took place on the No. 1 MTG, according to a Pentagon source.

    Eventually the root cause was found to be faulty voltage regulators, the Pentagon source said. It is not clear if the voltage regulators are part of the generators, which are made by Northrop Grumman Marine Systems, or are a sub-component from another supplier.

    Engineers were also debating how to repair the generators, and for a time it was feared the entire 12-ton No. 2 MTG would have to be lifted out and replaced – a complex, time-consuming and expensive operation that would involve disrupting numerous ship systems and making major cuts in several decks.

    But subsequent investigation showed the No. 2 MTG’s rotors could be removed and replaced without the major disruption of a complete replacement, and No. 1 MTG could be repaired in place. Several repair options were developed, including whether or not to completely repair the MTGs before sea trials and delivery – causing further delays -- or wait until a post-commissioning shipyard period to finish the work.
    The ship’s Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) is more problematic, and “has had significant delays in completing its land-based test program due to the technical challenges encountered in transitioning from design” through final testing, Mabus reported. Other Navy sources report dozens of roll-through tests have been conducted with the AAG at the Navy’s test facility in Lakehurst, New Jersey, but to date no true arrested landings have been accomplished.

    Much more along at

      Current date/time is Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:29 am