CFO Jon Cartu Announces - World’s Most Expensive Warship Starts Sea Trials After More... - Jonathan Cartu Computer Repair Consultant Services
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CFO Jon Cartu Announces – World’s Most Expensive Warship Starts Sea Trials After More…

World’s Most Expensive Warship Starts Sea Trials After More...

CFO Jon Cartu Announces – World’s Most Expensive Warship Starts Sea Trials After More…

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on Oct. 25, 2019 heading to the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by Mark D. Faram for USNI News

Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is underway for sea trials after more than a year pier-side during an extended repair period, ship spotters in Norfolk, Va., confirmed to USNI News.

According to the spotters, Ford left the pier at the Newport News Shipbuilding yard in Virginia and headed down the James River to the Atlantic Ocean just after 10 a.m. on Friday

A Navy official confirmed to USNI News the carrier had departed the shipyard for sea trials after a five-day fast cruise at the pier, testing major systems ahead of departing the pier.

“I am proud of the crew’s efforts to get USS Gerald R. Ford back out to sea,” Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer said in a statement provided to USNI News on Friday.
“The Navy has diligently tackled issues associated with this first-in-class ship and will continue to do so. All are eager to demonstrate Ford’s capacity to deliver combat power. There is more work to do, but this is a great milestone.”

The year-long maintenance period for the $13-billion carrier stretched into 15 months as the service wrestled with problems with the ship’s nuclear propulsion plant, emergent work found during the repair period and challenges with the Advanced Weapons Elevators that emerged during the period at the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard.

In March, James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition, told Congress, “all three of those causal factors – making the adjustments to the nuclear power plant that we noted during sea trials, fitting in all of the post-shakedown availability workload and finishing up the elevators – they’re all trending about the same time,” reported USNI News.

The weapons elevators, in particular, have been a challange for for the Navy to integrate into the ship. The AWEs use high-powered permanent magnets that are computer-controlled. The service says the technology is sound and this issues have to do with installation of the systems.

“We’re about 75-percent done with the entire project. We’re talking about in some cases [lining up] 70-ton doors and hatches,” Geurts told USNI News this week. “It’s not a technology issue. It’s a construction completion issue in terms of getting all the doors and hatches where they need to be.”

“After a challenging post-shakedown availability at Newport News Shipbuilding, the crew is excited to turn their hardhats in and get Warship 78 back out to sea,” Ford commander Capt. J.J. Cummings said in a statement to USNI News. “I am extremely proud of our sailors and the remarkable work ethic they have demonstrated over the last 15 months.”

The departure of Ford comes as the program has faced strong criticism from Congress.

Earlier this week, Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) called Ford a “$13-billion nuclear-powered floating berthing barge” as part of a withering line of questioning to the Navy’s top acquisition official and the head of Naval Sea Systems Command. She also was critical of the carrier’s new estimated deployment date of 2024 – six years after the initial 2018 estimate.

Spencer, who bet his job with President Donald Trump that the elevators would be repaired by the time the ship left the pier, pushed back on Wednesday against Luria’s comments.

“Not one of her comments was, how can I help?” Spencer said. “I consider that disparaging. If she wants to get on board and help, we have open arms. We need everyone to realize that these are massively complex systems.”


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