Home » Budget Industry » Pentagon Orders Shock Test for Carrier Gerald Ford, Could Delay First Deployment  


Pentagon Orders Shock Test for Carrier Gerald Ford, Could Delay First Deployment  

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Nov. 17, 2013) – Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) transits the James River during the ship’s launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier three for the final stages of construction and testing. The Ford was christened Nov. 9, 2013, and is currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Aidan P. Campbell/Released)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Nov. 17, 2013) – Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) transits the James River during the ship’s launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier three for the final stages of construction and testing. The Ford was christened Nov. 9, 2013, and is currently under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Aidan P. Campbell/Released)

The Navy has been ordered by the Office of Secretary Defense to conduct shock tests on first-in-class carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) in a move that could delay the initial deployment of the ship.

A spokeswoman for the service confirmed to USNI News on Tuesday the Navy had received direction for shock tests for the Ford-class from OSD but didn’t provide additional details.

The direction from OSD came in an Aug. 7 memo from Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) Frank Kendall to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus.

The memo — first reported by Bloomberg News — directed the Navy to conduct the tests before Ford’s initial deployment and have the tests be fully funded as part of the service’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget submission and present a plan to OSD in December.

“The operational implications of any delay to CVN 78 entering the CVN deployment cycle caused by scheduling the [shock tests] prior to initial deployment are acknowledged and were considered, “read a portion of the memo cited in Defense News.

The service had planned to conduct the shock trails — which use live explosives to test the survivability of a ship’s system under extreme conditions — with second carrier John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) to preserve the deployment schedule of the delayed Ford.

However, the ship is not scheduled to enter the fleet until the early 2020s.

Ford  is nearing completion at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ yard in Newport News, Va. and is slated to deliver to the service in March of next year.

Like What You've Been Reading? Get Proceedings Today
Categories: Budget Industry, News & Analysis, Surface Forces, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.