Home » Budget Industry » CNO Nominee Richardson: Ford Carrier Cost Growth ‘Unacceptable’


CNO Nominee Richardson: Ford Carrier Cost Growth ‘Unacceptable’

Adm. John Richardson during his July 30, 2015 nomination hearing for the position of Chief of Naval Operations.

Adm. John Richardson during his July 30, 2015 nomination hearing for the position of Chief of Naval Operations.

The presumptive next head of the Navy called the billions in cost growth for the service’s next generation aircraft carrier program “unacceptable” during his Thursday nomination hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).

Adm. John Richardson, the current director of Naval Reactors and nominee to be the next Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), echoed the sentiments of SASC chair Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on the more than 20 percent cost growth in the first-in-class Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and higher than estimated costs in the follow-on ships.

Since the $10.5 billion estimate for Ford in 2008, the cost of the first ship has risen to almost $13 billion.

Naval Sea Systems Command PEO Carriers has said about 40 percent of the cost growth has been due to developmental delays in government furnished equipment (GFE) — including General Atomics’ Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) and well as Raytheon’s one-off Dual Band Radar for Ford — and 60 percent due to additional design work and construction performance.

McCain, a frequent and vocal critic of the Ford-class program’s cost growth, highlighted the ongoing carrier development his opening statement.

“This program continues to be plagued by technology immaturity, concurrent development and production and a lack of reliability test data for critical systems,” he said.
“This is unacceptable. I repeat, unacceptable, and I fully expect the Navy’s ongoing study of alternative aircraft carrier designs to provide real options.”

Richardson agreed.

USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN 78, Dry Dock Flooding. Huntington Ingalls Industries Photo

USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN 78, Dry Dock Flooding. Huntington Ingalls Industries Photo

“I share your concern about the cost overruns of the carrier, and I agree with you that they are unacceptable,” he said.
“And if confirmed, I look forward to being very involved in the acquisition.”

McCain is championing a measure in the current defense bill that would give the CNO more authority in the carrier acquisition program.

Richardson, a career submariner, also said he supported the Navy’s ongoing alternate carrier study.

First revealed during a hearing in March, the little advertised examination is said to take a hard look at alternatives to the U.S. nuclear carrier to project an equivalent amount of aviation assets.

“Is there a sweet spot, something different other than today’s 100,000 ton carrier that would make sense to provide the power projection that we need that we get today from our aircraft carriers but at the same time put us in a more affordable position to provide that capability?,” Sean Stackley — Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development & Acquisition (RDA) — said before a Senate panel in March.

Currently, the Navy has determined only Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News shipyard the only facility capable of building nuclear carriers.

Apart from the carrier question, Richardson followed current CNO Adm. Jonathan Greenert in stressing the ongoing program to acquire 12 nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) to replace the current Ohio-class boomers was the Navy’s “number one modernization priority.”

Richardson repeated the often heard call from the service to pay for the estimated $100 billion Ohio Replacement Program (ORP) from outside the service’s yearly $15 billion shipbuilding budget from a separately funded national strategic deterrence fund.

The largely congenial hearing also touched on damaging effects of sequestration cuts as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011 had on the Navy. Richardson said the cuts weren’t effecting morale in the service but “there is a degree of unsettledness and uncertainty that arises from uncertainty in the fiscal environment.”

When asked by Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) the standard what-keeps-you-up-at-night question, Richardson said it was the balance between a swiftly shifting security environment and budget uncertainty.

“Our nation is pulled in so many different directions — not only the Indo-Asia-Pacific, but also we mentioned Russia on their activity in Europe and — and certainly the activity in the Middle East,” he said.
“Contrasting to that is a — sequestration I think, is a symptom of sortable level of awareness that I look forward, if confirmed to enhancing, to make that the message more vivid, so that we can close the gap between the growing requirements to the security environment, and things like a sequestration with which would threaten the resources to address it.”

Richardson is expected easily win confirmation and is set to replace Greenert in September.
The next prospective director of Naval Reactors, current director of Navy staff Vice Adm. James Caldwell, was announced last week.

  • Curtis Conway

    What I see is a need for a sea-change in the direction of platform production, while the Ford matures. This beast needs a decade under its belt before we even try to build another one. This is the time to take the USS America (LHA-6) and create a light carrier to the tune of about 4-6 units over the next decade or so. The capabilities of the F-35B Combat system is the compelling element in this argument.

    A Light Carrier Battle Group (CVLBG) will need a STOVL/VSTOL capable AEW&C asset, and if you have to buy them from the British so be it, but I think we can do better (EV-22 AEW&C?).

    The current Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) needs a dedicated tanker that can provide sufficient airborne fuel to increase the range of US Navy aircraft to assist in dealing with the A2-AD equation (KC-3A Super Viking). That new asset will grow into a
    more capable AEW&C platform in a couple of decades when the E-2Ds require
    replacement.

    Generation 6 Fighter had better look a lot like a modern and more capable F-14 Tomcat on steroids with ADVENT engine, super-cruise, and can carry any weapon in the inventory, and have the situational awareness and connectivity of the F-35 Combat System.

    The Ohio Replacement Program (ORP) is going to have to be our primary concern and budget priority for the next 20 years. When its done . . . we can go into space!

    Just my 2Ȼ.

    • sferrin

      And in the meantime your CVN number drops through the floor for a couple decades. Great plan. And your so-called “light carrier” would be inadequate. CVNs (and their battle groups) are 30+ knot ships. The America is about 30% slower. And do you think all that extra crap you’ll need to make it viable is free (EV-22 Bah ha ha)? I think at $0.02 you are charging WAY too much.

      • Secundius

        @ sferrin.

        The Peace Time Complement of Aircraft’s operating from a Nimitz class Large Aircraft Carrier is ~80 with a Wartime Complement of ~100 Aircraft’s. The Gerald Ford is ~90 Peace Time and ~130 Wartime Aircraft’s. The Principe de Asturias or (SCS-75 design) Light Aircraft Carriers is ~29 Aircraft’s. But SEVEN can be purchased to ONE, Nimitz class Carrier. That’s ~203 Aircraft’s on Seven Ship’s that can either operate Independently or in Consort with “One An Other”. With an EVER Shrinking Navy of 235 Active Ship’s and 97 yet to be commissioned ship’s. It’s TIME to think SMALL, at least until we play “Catch-Up” with the PRC’s PLAN…

        • sferrin

          Ugh, where to even begin? The Ford is NOT, repeat NOT a “90 peactime, 130 wartime” aircraft carrier. Every carrier since the Forrestal class as been built around the same size airwing. The reason the ships get bigger is to support the airwing better for a longer time. And to compare the airwing of an LHA to a CVN is laughable. Seriously, some of you need to talk less and read more.

          • Secundius

            @ sferrin.

            I’m going by the Companies Literature. Secondly, I don’t recall the Ford being in Operational Commission. As I recall she’s still being Fitted-Out on Test’s…

          • LMay

            My concern is the vulnerability of the carrier with the advances in technology and availability of anti-ship missiles, AIP submarines and naval mines. I assume that the Navy and Air Force are already working on this, but the combination of big deck carriers, Air Force strategic bombers with anti-ship missiles (harpoon, LRASM in the future), the P-8 Posiden and our air bases in the Pacific would be a combination leveraging the capabilities of the assets of both services. The combination of Naval Air and land based Air Power would make the carriers a lot less vulnerable.

      • PolicyWonk

        The lighter carrier (same general size of USS America) is the sort of asset you send to regions of the planet that aren’t quite so volatile, for example, as say the Persian Gulf. And a USS America costs less than a third of a Ford-class CVN.

        That’s a lot of coverage for considerably less coin, and it frees up the CVN’s for other tasks. Additionally, the light CV also carries far more punch than a Nimitz of just 15 years ago with the advent of smart weapons.

        The movement to start investing in more light/smaller deck carriers is catching on with a lot of defense analysts for the same reasons. The CVN’s – while delivering a lot of punch – are killing us in the wallet.

        • sferrin

          They already do that. And while the notion might be “catching on” with a lot of “analysts”, those who know (you know, the guys in uniform who actual do the job) aren’t biting. This whole “small carriers are the new black” idiocy is nothing but a bunch of psuedo-intellectual masturbation.

    • Chuck Mahon

      You points fall down because you are talking about MANNED systems. Done done done. No more manned systems are required by US Navy – especially aircraft. The F-35B/C is the last manned aircraft for Naval Aviation.

      • vincedc

        I think that as long as there is a chance of jamming an aircraft, there will always be a human in the cockpit in part of the air wing. Even autonomous pre-programmed aircraft will by subject to remote downloads in the future. I see a future of smarter cruise and standoff weapons, but a true war is chaos, and no level of artificial intelligence will replace a really hot stove pipe jock.

      • Curtis Conway

        Gen 6 will most likely go both ways.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          Brazil is upgrading their Only Carrier, the NAe Sao Paulo to receive the Navalized Saab JAS.39N Sea Gripen-M. Fifth Generation Plus Fighter. Their going to retain the A-4SU Super Skyhawk in the Attack/Strike role…

          • Curtis Conway

            I had read that somewhere.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          I suspect the first Generation SIX Fighter, is going to be from Saab…

          • Curtis Conway

            I believe the Boeing/SAAB team will come up with the design.

      • NavySubNuke

        Unmanned aircraft are great on paper but once you start trying to figure out how to actually use them in a real war the whole charade falls apart pretty quickly.
        I’ll believe that manned systems are done for when we come up with a way of controlling unmanned systems that doesn’t require a permissive electromagnetic environment for controller communications and GPS navigation (or when we figure out how to do these without even the chance of being jammed — but i wouldn’t hold your breath on that one!).
        Unmanned aircraft work great against third world countries with little to no EW capability and no air defenses but against a near peer competitor – not so much. Maybe in 25 – 35 years but probably not even then.

    • John King

      Curtis, You’re on the right track with the British but not light carriers. Just integrate those two new Elizabeth-class carriers into the US Navy deployment schedule and walla, carrier gap covered. After all, they’re our NATO partner and should deploy in a unified command plan. England does not have a separate need to have carriers stationed randomly and infrequently around the world because its only a third-rate power now, with less influence that Japan or the BRICs.

      • Curtis Conway

        I agree with you. There is something to the 1,000 ship navy. However, don’t forget the Falklands.

        • Secundius

          @ Curtis Conway.

          There’s also something to be said about WW2, too. The US Fleet had a total strength of 71,009 Ship’s of various classes at War’s End…

          • Curtis Conway

            AND we gave them away to other countries needing ships like the Philippines. There are some navies on the planet who have only recently replaced some of those ships with something more modern.

          • Secundius

            @ Curtis Conway.

            It’s one thing to have a Wartime Economy, and another to have a Peacetime Economy. But then again, too have a Congress Actively trying to GUT a Peacetime Economy while were STILL try too Fight A War…

      • redgriffin

        Do you think the US needs will mesh well with Great Britain’s needs? Plus what happens if the cost of operating 2 carriers is to steep to that Great Britain rent the “Charles De Gaulle”?

        • Secundius

          @ redgriffin.

          The French Version of British Carriers, WERE CANCELLED. So, I doubt the French are going the Rent Out their only remaining Carrier…

          • redgriffin

            And I do not think that the RN will allow us to use their new QE Class CV to bolster our Navy commitments.

          • Secundius

            @ regriffin.

            What are you going to do about the Ski-Jump Ramps. If the US Navy got them, it would 18-month minimum just to modify them for our aircraft’s. It would be Cheaper just to build them ourselves, ONLY ONE PROBLEM though. The “Jones” Act of 1920, which prevents the US Government and Navy from purchasing ship’s from a Foreign Government. The Spanish Light Carrier, not a problem. Because the Design is OUR’s…

          • redgriffin

            Or we would use them the same way that the Brits do as large glorified Commando Carriers.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            One Problem Though, The “Jone’s Act of 1920. Which Prohibits, the United States Government nd the US Navy from purchasing Foreign Made Ships…

          • redgriffin

            If I remember the original comment that I responded to the idea was to use the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers to supplement the U.S. Carriers something that I believe is not covered under that law.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            I believe the British said, they would Supplement our Carriers. Nothing was said about Handing them over too us…

          • redgriffin

            Yes I read that to and my original comment was to warn the original writer that I doubt that the RN will find that it can afford 2 Medium Carriers based on their fleet size.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            The only other option, available is the Take Over Maintenance and Up-Grade Costs. And STILL allow the RN to operate the carrier’s or have BAe buy the Carrier’s and Resell to us (the US Navy), considering BAe is a Defense Contractor for the US Military…

          • redgriffin

            Couldn’t we just shift some European obligations to the NATO Navies?

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            It’s worth a try. But in the Long-Run, it’s doubtful. They don’t even want the Political Hot Potato of the Mistral class. I think a better solution would be, to Use the Lend Lease Act of March 1941. Bring the two ship’s her and rebuild them into proper Medium Carrier’s, with EMALS, Arresting Gear, Super Hornet’s and Advanced Hawkeye’s. Or just Finance the Build from Washington. Instead of Light Carrier’s on Steroids. Seventy to Eighty percent of Israel’s Military is Financed by us anyway. We can do the same for Britain…

          • redgriffin

            Well then we let them sink like they seem to want to do. As for the U.S. We winter in the Pacific.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            Then we DO IT TO “NATO”, TOO. Considering were Literally PROP THE THEM UP, TOO. In which case Putin WIN’S…

          • redgriffin

            Do we really need NATO in todays world? Why can’t the EU form that regional military force that France and Germany have been talking about for the last 15 Years. Europe is using the US and NATO as a crutch it’s time they start to play with the big boys.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            The Same can be said about Israel, too. There is a “Back-Door” approach, have the US Army Buy Them. Their NOT PROHIBITED by the “Jones” Act. The “Jones” Act of 1920, didn’t anticipate WW2, so they gave it a little “Wiggle Room”. Either that, or the “Framer’s” saw something nobody else did…

          • redgriffin

            You know your last comment made no sense you start with an idea about Israel and end with decrying the Jones Act and how the US Army can buy through the back door.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            You asked the question for the need of NATO, which I responded, the same could be said about Israel.

            The “Jones” Act of 1920, Prohibits purchases by the US Government, US. Navy and US. Merchant Marines. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover the US Army or Air force (or in 1920 US. Army Air Corps).

            Because up until WW2, the US Army didn’t have their own Ship’s. That Changed in WW2.

            US Revenue Service (US. Coast Guard), was NOT a Military Branch of Service. The Last Three are “Back-Door’s”…

          • redgriffin

            I hate to break this to you but the Army has had water craft in it’s inventory since the days of George Washington. In fact they tend to have more ships then the USN. Also I don’t doubt that you intended to say what said in your post but it came out extremely garbled
            garbled.

          • Secundius

            @ redgiffin.

            How many of those were Ocean Going Capable, Sir. Also the US Army had the World First Aircraft Carrier, too. It wasn’t Ocean Capable either…

          • redgriffin

            Almost 60% that has always been a bone of contention for the navy just as the marines are for the army.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin

            Now you know how the US Army must have felt, until the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 came along…

          • redgriffin

            No please tell me how it felt?

          • Secundius

            @ redgriifin.

            What? Being the Distrusted Branch of the Military Services…

          • redgriffin

            No about how the army hates the Posse Comitatus
            Act?

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            Because up unit 1878, the US Navy wasn’t included…

          • redgriffin

            Ha,Ha, Ha It still isn’t that’s why the navy and the Coast Guard chase pirates and smugglers on the High Seas and other countries territorial waters.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            Back then, there was NO Coast Guard. Back then is was just a Life Boat Service…

          • redgriffin

            There was the Revenue Cutter Service, The Life Boat Service and the Lighthouse Service still all are not covered by the Posse Comitatus Act because the act was signed in 1887 to keep the Army from being used as law enforcement groups. Something that the Revenue Cutter Service was charged to do backed by the Navy.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            Even in 2015, the Coast Guard isn’t covered by the Posse Comitatus Act. The Marine Corps and Air Force weren’t ADDED to the List until 1956…

          • redgriffin

            Have you even read the Posse Comintatus Act?

          • Secundius

            @ Redgriffin.

            YES. One of my many other Discussion Group’s are STILL taking about Posse Comitatus Act of 18 June 1878, Amended 10 August 1956 and Amended again 12 June 1981 and any further implied applications to the Act…

          • redgriffin

            So is the US Revenue Cutter Service, USCG, USN or the USMC even mentioned in it?

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            As of 2015, the US Army, US National Guard, US. Air Force, US Navy and US Marine Corps, YES. The US Coast Guard (aka Revenue Cutter Service) NO…

          • redgriffin

            Well Secundius I will give you partial points on this The National Guard is covered only when the Guard has been federated by the DOD but when it is under State Control it is allowed to be used as Law Enforcement. And the Department of the Navy voluntarily put itself under that act when the DOD was formed but the act has not been modified to include the Navy or it’s components.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            In 1956, the Air Force was added to the Posse Comitatus Act. The US Navy and US Marine Corps, were added by REGULATION of the US Department of Defense the same year. The Jury is STILL OUT on the National Guard Issue…

          • redgriffin

            No the Guard units are State Units hence their names Colorado National Guard, California National Guard etc. they have to be federalized into active service to fail under full Army Regs.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            The National Guard was added to the Posse Comitatus Act in 3 January 2012, under 32 U.S.C. Bill 112: Drug Interdiction and Counter-Drug Activities…

          • redgriffin

            YEs but the Guard lives in 2 worlds it is the State Militia of the Constitution and therefore under the orders of it’s Governor who can us the Guard as backup for the Police as in a Civil Disturbance or a flood and thus not under the control of the Federal Government and when they are Mobilized by the Federal Government for use used in a Combat Situation Iraq and Afghanistan or professional training as part of the US Army in the US then and only then does the National Guard fall under The Posse Comitatus Act of 1879.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            I think your thinking of the Bureau of Militia. Unfortunately the Bureau was DISSOLVED in 2 June 1916 and After Midnight, 3 June 1916 RESURRECTED as the US. National Guard…

          • redgriffin

            No the Nationa Guard. They took over the job of the State militias.

          • Secundius

            @ redgriffin.

            I’d like to Answer you Question? But the USNI News, Fo-Police have decided that I can’t. I have been Redacted Several Times Now. So, This Subject is CLOSED…

          • Secundius

            @ redriffin.

            The ONLY way the RN is going to sell the Aircraft Carrier’s, would be for us (the United States) to cancel the F-35 JSF Program. Because their Carrier’s can only operate the JSF. They no longer have either the Harrier or Sea Harrier to operate from it’s Flight Decks. And if we did that, we’ll push back Anglo-American Friendship back at least 40-years. They may, or may not trust us ever again. Not to mention loosing half of our NATO Allies as well…

          • redgriffin

            I really doubt that our relationship is that good right now.

          • Secundius

            @ regriffin.

            Truth be told, without NATO. The US who have a Difficult Time, if NOT Impossible time Fighting Any War. Not to Mention our Allies in the Pacific. The US, would in effect be a Isolated Nation with NO Allied Friends ANYWHERE…

      • old guy

        GREAT idea. If NATO can’t “Joint Force” it is virtually worthless.

  • Ctrot

    The $3 billion cost over run of the Ford during her 10 year construction period represents 1-2 days of US welfare state cost.

    I am tired of the hand wringing over defense costs when the real financial problem is ignored.

    • Ruckweiler

      Ctrot:
      Agreed. $18+ Trillion national debt will kill us if not dealt with. However, asking the politicians to cut spending is like asking an addict to reduce his drug use.

      • LMay

        Very true, $3 billion isn’t even rounding error in DC. However; the reality is lower defense budgets. The Navy needs to stop designing ships with multiple immature technologies leading to these cost overruns. Since the Navy has not proven the ability to manage revolutionary designs within the current budget, it needs to focus on evolutionary design. I’m not talking about the Burke Tier III, while that’s evolutionary, the hull/machinery/growth potential don’t seem to be a good match for the AMDR. But what about a larger hull using existing technologies? Instead of the Ford class and it’s cost growth (cost growth much greater than inflation- growth in the defense budget), why not an improved Nimitz Class? The evolution of the F-18 provides a good example: F-18 A, F-18C, Super Hornet F-18 E/F, now a potential Advanced Super Hornet. Better the good than the ephemeral perfect.

  • vincedc

    So let’s ask McCain about the delays and cost overruns of the KC-46 that he shoved down our throats.

    • johnbull

      I don’t want us to be so concerned with the cost of 100,000 ton “super-carriers” that we start buying smaller vessels that cost half as much, but with one-third the strike capacity. If it is more efficient in cost and strike power to go with a larger number of smaller hulls then by all means do it, but let’s not be “penny wise and poind foolish.”

      • LMay

        I believe that you are right. During the 70’s the idea of a small carrier (the sea control ship) was considered and dropped.

        • johnbull

          The America type can carry 20 F-35s, roughly 1/3 the strike capacity?? of our super-carriers, and cost 3.4 billion as opposed to 12+ billion for the Fords. On the other hand, it’s a pretty slow vessel, 10 kts slower than our CVNs. Increasing speed requires expanding the power plant considerably, which wouldn’t be cheaply done and would drive the unit price up a good penny.

          • LMay

            The problem with the future of Marine STOVL aviation on the Navy’s big deck amphibs (which I think is a national asset – potentially 8-10 light carriers available in a national emergency) is that this is linked to the F-35B. Building a STOVL aircraft is not revolutionary technology but combining this with stealth, unproven sensor technology as well as all the other issues with the F-35 program puts the viability of the F-35B in doubt. Building a STOVL aircraft with stealth, cutting edge active and passive sensors, supersonic speed and a low maintenance footprint in an time of constrained defense budgets creates a high risk of failure. The Marines probably would have been better off with an aircraft better than the Harrier but not revolutionary. We’ll see, the F-35B may mature into a stable design fulfilling most of its’ designed capabilities and with a price well below the current approximate $250 million per aircraft. We’ll see.

          • Secundius

            @ johnbull.

            45,000-tons in a Wee Bit Excessive, to be calling a Light Carrier. Not even a 1/3, the “B” model carries about 2/3’s of what an “A” model carries. More like 1/5…

      • old guy

        I’m sorry, but you are incorrect. Strike carriers in the 15 to 45 ton range such as the Principe de Esturias are much more efficient in a group. Maintenance can be in one large carrier and the rest, operational strike. The 1993 “Carrier Study” showed this until it was redacted, rewritten and re-diculous.

  • Vitonio

    Maybe the manufacturer could add leather seats or a fancy paint job for our troubles.

    • J_kies

      So the next time Hollywood wants to do a military feature with an Aircraft Carrier; charge them the appropriate rates to offset the extra pretty features of the Ford.

  • NavySubNuke

    The real focus should be on slimming down the crew. The cost of constructing carriers is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of recruiting, training, and retaining the crew. Considering how many carrier crew members exist only to support other crew members you can get all kinds of bonuses for every position you cut from the watch bill.

  • Quackers

    Quackers
    Cost overrun,carrier? Has anyone figured out what the Ohio replacement cost overrun
    Could or would be??????hm hm hm.

  • Ruckweiler

    It isn’t like we’ve never built these sized carriers before. 10 years? Have we become this inept that it takes this long?

  • Leatherstocking

    A lot of fundamental systems changes in this lead ship. Probably too many changes at once but there was and is the desire to get the same configuration on Ford as on Kennedy and beyond. AAG and EMALS will have teething pains during the next 2-3 years. I’m glad I’m not trapping aboard on a “new” system.

  • Weaponeer

    This is the no-brainer of the decade to solve. Stop building nuclear powered aircraft carriers. Of all the types of warships, the big carriers benefit the least from nuclear power. Vast amounts of fuel are required for its aircraft as well as the destroyers escorting it; the additional fuel represents a minor factor in ship design and has virtually no effect on its operational endurance. Two year long refuellings become an historical footnote. Since steam is no longer needed by the catapults, leveraging direct diesel drive for economy and diesel-electric for stealth and future energy weapons growth become obvious alternatives. A similar 50,000t, 2 catapult, 2 elevator pair of designs with biased but cross capacity CVA/LHA functionality could be built at a rate of up to one per year for a target total end force of 25-36 ships. Reliance solely on Newport News would end (even though I don’t consider their performance to have been unduly poor, it is a monopoly with a predictable outcome). Design in some ice resistance to the hull to counter Putin’s Arctic ambitions and stop deluding yourselves that the heavily left wing Canadian political system will ever defend its own territory beyond locals with large calibre rifles.

  • Secundius

    Just REDACT IT, Your going to do it Anyway…

  • old guy

    READ MY LIPS—” SWIPE”— Shipyard Welfare Incentive Program Event

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