Home » Budget Industry » Ford Carrier Delayed Again Due to ‘First-of-Class Issues’


Ford Carrier Delayed Again Due to ‘First-of-Class Issues’

Tug boats maneuver Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) into the James River during the ship's Turn Ship evolution on June 11, 2016. US Navy photo.

Tug boats maneuver Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) into the James River during the ship’s Turn Ship evolution on June 11, 2016. US Navy photo.

Delivery of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) has been pushed back again, this time by about a month and a half due to ongoing first-in-class challenges.

Navy spokeswoman Capt. Thurraya Kent told reporters that the ship’s current estimated delivery date is now November 2016, though the program manager told USNI News in May that delivery was on track for late-September. Kent said that “during the ongoing testing of developmental systems onboard the CVN-78, first-of-class issues are continuing to be resolved” and that if additional challenges arise the date could be pushed back further.

Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Colleen O’Rourke told USNI News that no one system caused the delay, but rather the Navy and shipbuilder are “working through some first-of-class issues” generally.

The ship was originally planned to deliver to the Navy in March 2016. That was pushed back by six to eight weeks, as announced in September 2015, due to “deterioration” in progress that would cause a slip in the ship’s test schedule.

Problems with the Advanced Arresting Gear threatened to further delay delivery, but then-Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers Vice Adm. Tom Moore told USNI News in October 2015 that, even though AAG wouldn’t be certified to trap all the different aircraft types prior to the ship’s delivery date, that work would not affect the ship’s delivery date.

Even when that manned AAG testing and certification effort in New Jersey started nearly two months late, CVN-78 Class Program Manager Capt. Chris Meyer told USNI News in May that the ship was on track for a late-September delivery – which reflected a further delay beyond the previously announced eight-week delay but was not a result of AAG testing challenges. Meyer explained that the delays in the AAG tests – which are taking place at a ground facility at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. – would have little to no operational impact on the ship because AAG installation and testing could take place concurrently. The Navy already understood that the AAG system would be installed but not tested when the ship delivered, and the aircraft recovery tests would take place post-delivery during the six-month post-shakedown period.

“It’s important to remember that we’re not going to start on day 1 on the ship launching and recovering fleet aircraft,” he said of the ship shakedown. The island on the flight deck is shaped and located differently than is the island on Nimitz-class carriers, and the Navy will need to measure how that will affect the wind patterns for flight deck operations. Early at-sea testing after the ship’s delivery will support rotary wing dynamic interface testing, Meyer said, followed by air traffic control certifications with its new radar systems, and eventually Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and AAG testing with test squadrons.

It is unclear what role, if any, AAG played in the most recent delivery delay, with Navy spokespeople declining to discuss individual systems.

Still, Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) took aim the program in a blistering statement Tuesday, saying “The Navy’s announcement of another two-month delay in the delivery of CVN-78 further demonstrates that key systems still have not demonstrated expected performance. The advanced arresting gear (AAG) cannot recover airplanes. Advanced weapons elevators cannot lift munitions. The dual-band radar cannot integrate two radar bands. Even if everything goes according to the Navy’s plan, CVN-78 will be delivered with multiple systems unproven.”

“This situation is unacceptable and was entirely preventable,” the statement continues.
“The Ford-class program is a case study in why our acquisition system must be reformed – unrealistic business cases, poor cost estimates, new systems rushed to production, concurrent design and construction, and problems testing systems to demonstrate promised capability. After more than $2.3 billion in cost overruns have increased its cost to nearly $13 billion, the taxpayers deserve to know when CVN-78 will actually be delivered, how much developmental risk remains in the program, if cost overruns will continue, and who is being held accountable.

McCain singled out the AAG program, noting it has seen more than $600 million in cost overruns and should trigger a Nunn-McCurdy critical breach.

“As the Department of Defense Inspector General reported last week, ‘Ten years after the program entered the engineering and manufacturing development phase, the Navy has not been able to prove the capability or safety of the system to a level that would permit actual testing of the system on an aircraft carrier,’” McCain said.
“Returning to a variant of the Mark 7 arresting gear is a viable option that must be considered during the Nunn-McCurdy review.”

The Navy could not immediately characterize what testing was left between now and delivery. As of last month, ship construction is 98-percent complete, 97 percent of the spaces have been turned over to the Navy and 89 percent of shipboard testing is complete.

EMALS tested completed in May, with 242 total dead load launches – large weights to simulate the various aircraft types that will launch from the ship – among all four catapults. All six dual-band radar arrays, three of them multi-function radar arrays and three volume search radar arrays, have been energized at full power, and the MFR arrays have tracked targets of opportunity in the area.

The ship’s propulsion plant is still being tested, and the ship turned itself around in a “turn ship evolution” June 11, which was the first time the ship had moved from its pier since it left the dry dock in November 2013. O’Rourke said the evolution demonstrates that the crew can safely get the ship underway and also allows the remaining testing to take place once the ship is facing the opposite direction.

  • sferrin

    “Oh ma gerd CANCEL IT!!! CANCELLLL ITTTTTT!!!!!”

    In other news, good stuff is hard yo.

    • Mauvais Garcon

      Ya think?? Considering the complexity of the task at hand 90 days is bupkis….

      • sferrin

        Right there with ya. If only more understood that.

  • John Locke

    Still, it will be more capable of protecting itself and other units than the LCS.

    • Rocco

      Yeah how??? Not if it can’t launch anything!!!

  • Charles R Jones

    Makes me proud to have served on NIMITZ PRECOMM, where things went much more smoothly despite being the first of its kind with only 2 reactors.

    The fact that the ship could get underway gracefully after being alongside the pier for a couple years (assuming they started up the reactors and used their own steam for that, vice tugs) indicates that they installed a backup cooling system from the firemain, similar to the one I installed before NIMITZ Sea Trials and got into all the NIMITZ Class. I would note the details, but then the Chinese and Russians might learn too much about it all.

    Good to know that the ship is getting there! No other country could do this as well as the US (or at all)!

    • Rocco

      Nice & thankyou for that!! I boarded the Nimitz in the med in 81 .

  • RobM1981

    It’s called “AAG,” because that’s the sound the pilots make during the trap…

    AAG!

    🙂

    PS, Good looking hull. Hopefully it’s as great a ship as it appears to be.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Yowzers — $13 Billion, and that starts with “B” and that stands for boondoggle! Keep it up and she may become the “First-and-Last-of-Class” for the USN, the USS Fix-Or-Repair-Daily.

    • NavySubNuke

      Kind of hard to say that amount is outrageous when you consider the fact we waste $80 Billion per year on foodstamps. Just cut the food stamp budget by 5% and you can buy another new carrier every 3.5 years!
      Or better yet you can buy 3 extra SSNs every 2 years! (Not that I am biased or anything)
      And if you want to leave the foodstamp budget alone – there is plenty of wasted money in the DoD budget. For instance according to the Wall Street Journal in 2015 the DOD wasted $437M supporting military bands. And then there is the entire Little Crappy Ship program…..

      • publius_maximus_III

        Agreed, Nuke, when it comes to the federal teat there’s PLENTY of waste and outright fraud to go around. Let’s just shut up and keep paying our taxes. What do we know anyway?

        • NavySubNuke

          Don’t worry I’m sure either the reality TV star bully or the pathological liar/criminal will have this all sorted out after the election……

          • publius_maximus_III

            Some choice, eh?

            But this great country of ours has weathered many storms — King George III, the Barbary Pirates, the Civil War, Hitler-Hirohito-Mussolini, Stalin, and a whole raft of other challenges. Surviving Benghazi (or the Trumpster) — should be a piece o’ cake..

          • NavySubNuke

            I wish I shared your optimism. Given the collapse of the traditional American social structure and work ethic I’m not sure we have the strength to survive such a storm without a river of blood – but I will be happy to be proven wrong.

          • Rocco

            The worst is yet to come!

          • Rocco

            Lol …..the better of both evils is…….?

      • USNVO

        In really depends on how you look at it. Although the acquisition cost of the FORD is more expensive, it is projected to require less maintenance over its life, a smaller crew, and have a greater capacity. As a result, the FORD is roughly $5 Billion cheaper in lifecycle costs and 10 FORDs provide as many steaming days as 12 NIMITZ. So cheaper overall, a smaller crew allows you to apply additional manpower somewhere else, and you get more deployed days. All of that in addition to an improvement in sortie generation. But hey, if you want to fixate on the initial cost, less than 20pct of the total lifecycle cost, knock yourself out.

        • NavySubNuke

          If it all works as planned and it actually delivers the lower costs and improved sortie rates – great. But I have a hard time buying 20% lower total life cycle costs or improved steaming days on a ship that hasn’t even deployed yet.
          I hope you are right but contractor promises aren’t exactly worth their weight in gold. Look at what the Navy is having to do to Little Crappy Ship manning.

        • Rocco

          Not totally as subnuke says & the lower operating costs for man power else where just won’t happen. No need no funding .the military is becoming more corporate. If there is no billet the navy won’t fill it.

    • Rocco

      Lol!!

  • John B. Morgen

    The United States Navy was just better off building another Nimitz class aircraft carrier; instead of building a defense contractor [welfare project]. We need many more carriers—now and not later!

    • Secundius

      Unfortunately Nobody Knew at the time that Generally Atonic (General Atomics) EMALS. Wasn’t going to work in the REAL WORLD as opposed to the VIRTUAL WORLD…

      • John B. Morgen

        The Navy should have built a full working model at China Lake, CA before installing the system that it doesn’t work.

        • Secundius

          I Really Don’t Know if THIS is a “Contractor’s” THING or a Get Rich “Congressional” THING…

          • John B. Morgen

            I think it does because contractor should have known more about their system, and the Navy should have been on top of it. Our national security cannot really afford anymore delays at the expense of the nation-state. We need more carriers at sea—now!

          • Secundius

            Probably MORE of a Get Rich by Outsourcing Thing, Than Preparing for War against your Outsourcing Favorite Nation That Get’s You Rich Thing. Refusing to See the Forest because of the TREE’s…

          • Rocco

            And taxpayers dollar’s.

          • John B. Morgen

            Sometimes the tax payers’ dollars gets over-looked because some times the DOD is more interested of getting the projects completed. In know to be true this because I was an Air Force System Command auditor, and a lot projects were involved with; such as the F-16s, F-15s, B-1Bs, were given top priority.

        • Rocco

          The systems are in pax river & Lakehurst tested!

        • Secundius

          The Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Stations, Research and Testing Runway is over 12,000-feet long. And Pax NAES Testing Runway is ~11,800-feet long…

          • Rocco

            I did mention this.

          • Secundius

            I’m aware of that? I just FLESHED it out a bit…

          • Rocco

            Lol

          • Rocco

            Lol

          • John B. Morgen

            Or the Navy could have built a full working model at Edwards Air Force Base,

          • Secundius

            Little HARD to have a Imperfect Carrier Landing, When the Flight Deck is OVER 2-Miles Long. But Edward’s Concept LACKS both Wind and Wave. A IX-64, Wolverine or IX-81 Sable Paddle Wheel Test Aircraft Carrier operating on Lake Michigan Would Produce BOTH and Give Pilots Additional Carrier Deck Flight Experience. Doesn’t even have to be BIG, Just Big Enough for one EMALS. About 500-feet or so. Too Bad they (the USN) decommissioned the DD-985 Cushing in 2005. They could have Removed the Superstructure and Replaced it with a Flight Deck and Pilot House, and USED IT…

          • John B. Morgen

            The Navy has a few Ticonderogas in mothballs, which means one could be taken out from mothballs, then converted it into a small aircraft carrier; or build an enlarge Ticonderoga hull up to 600+ feet.

          • Rocco

            Ok now you are making stupid suggestions!! We already have moth ball flat top LHA’s that can easily be used for this purpose without cutting up a cruiser that wasn’t designed to land jets .this isn’t WW-2 where this was done to get carriers deployed. But then we were landing prop planes back then. A big difference.

          • Secundius

            It’s a “Pipe Dream”, US Congress won’t Go for it because of it “Making Sense”. And the Other Reason. Ticonderoga, Yorktown, Vincennes and Thomas S Gates were Already “Scrapped” and Valley Forge was used as Target Practice and Sunk to become a “Artificial Reef”

          • John B. Morgen

            You were the one who mentioned about using the USS Crushing (DD-985), which is a Spruance class destroyer. The Ticonderoga class is a Sqruance class variant because both classes uses the same basic hull. I have to update my warship data on the Ticonderoga class, but thank you for the information.

          • Secundius

            You mean “Cushing”? I had to Check from Note’s I wrote about the Disposition on the Cruisers. Because I couldn’t Recall Any “Tico’s” in the Mothball Fleet. That Leave either a Tarawa class NOT on the Scrape Yard List or the Conversion of an Existing Arleigh Burke class. But EVEN Those are just Pipe Dream “Dreams”. This is One of the Few Times, where the US Navy actually put the “Cart in front of the Horse”. And frankly, you Really Don’t need to Angle the Deck, in ONLY Two or Three Planes are Used in making the Tests…

          • John B. Morgen

            I miss-typed Cushing with a (r), a typo my bad. All right there’s two matters that need to be clear up. First, I never stated about putting an angle flight deck on a converted Ticonderoga or Burke, just a full flight deck. Two an angle flight deck would add additional flight deck space on America class aircraft carriers.

          • Secundius

            Well, you mentioned Widening the Flight Deck? But if the “Test Ship” were to Operate on One of the Great Lakes. Emergency Landings Aren’t a Problem with Military Bases on Both American and Canadian Side of the Lakes or Even Civilian Airports. And as I said, Only Two or Three Carrier Planes are Required to Perform the Tests…

          • John B. Morgen

            Or the Navy just build a very large barge hull, but a flight deck, and without a hangar. The barge will be self-propelled with 1-shaft, run on a diesel engine.

          • Secundius

            That would work too, as long as the Barge Segments are Rigid in Construction or a Off-Set Container/Tanker of about 600-feet long. Even a Flo-Flo Vessel would work, only problem being Flight Deck would be Closer to the Water…

          • John B. Morgen

            The freeboard would have to be at least 25 feet above the waterline.

          • Secundius

            That might be the Most Disconcerting Thing to Pilot’s landing on Either Dryland or a Pitching Flight Deck 60 to 80-feet above the Waterline. Landing on Something Just above the Waterline. But WHATEVER is used, its better than Live Testing on a Functional Combatant and Rendering it Next to Useless…

          • John B. Morgen

            We’ll have to wait and see what the Navy does from this point of time.

          • Secundius

            Agreed!/? But I’m Not Holding My Breath…

          • Rocco

            As far as what???? You have no idea what your talking about!! You have yet to answer back the the replies from your comment on calling the America an aircraft carrier & insisting it can get an angle deck put on it no proble like you have a maritime engineering background !!! & mentioning other supper carriers having elevators on the port side!! They were purposely built that way and the ships have a130′ beam if you know what that means!!! You have know idea dude!!

          • John B. Morgen

            I suggest you’d read up about the technical histories of American aircraft carriers; including about foreign aircraft carriers—-Rocco.

          • Rocco

            I have 6 books!!

          • John B. Morgen

            I have over 75 books, and too many naval journals.

          • Rocco

            Can’t work what part don’t you understand!!

          • John B. Morgen

            I don’t think you’d quite understand the technical history of the American aircraft carriers, regardless, that you’d served on super aircraft carriers.

          • Rocco

            I’ll take u on any time!! If that makes you feel better. When I was in the yard in Philly I did tank inspections & crawled through every tank & voids .what did you do that gives you guals better than me??

          • John B. Morgen

            You were a technician…..not worth my time.

          • Rocco

            Gps!!!😡😠

          • John B. Morgen

            What’s this silly nonsense—Rocco?

          • Rocco

            Figure it out!!

          • John B. Morgen

            You’d are just telling me that you cannot write a worth of a damn bloody comment.

          • Rocco

            Prof read your comment!!! You’d !!!

          • John B. Morgen

            No Rocco. A lot of your comments have spelling errors; for example, “[Prof]” when there should have been spelled— proof.

          • Rocco

            Short hand my comments stand corrected!!

          • John B. Morgen

            Spell out your words—.

          • Rocco

            At 2 in the morning!!!😮

          • Rocco

            The new America class LHA is not an aircraft carrier. Stick to air farce subjects would you please!! At the least get the nomenclature right.

          • John B. Morgen

            The USS America (LHA-6) was misclassified due to politics and super carrier lobbyist because the Navy does not want to return to the [“standard aircraft carrier (CV)”]. The Navy wants all aircraft carrier funding go to the super aircraft carriers and nothing smaller than the CVB(N).
            USS America is an aircraft carrier, and it’s primary mission is to provide invasion forces with air to ground support and fighter protection with F-35B aircraft. The aircraft carrier was designed without a dock well, which means she cannot operate LCAC or LCU vessels. However, the America was designed to carry 1,871 troops if needed.

            In sum, the correct designation should have been for the USS America class as a CV/LPH and not a LHA. This class can preform two mission roles.

          • Rocco

            Really where did you get that from!! The America was designed to replace the again LHA Tarawa class ships with the larger Wasp class hull & deck for cost savings. The only difference is the powerplant as in LHD -8 .read it dude !! You made that bull crap up! There’s no proff of that. Good by!

          • John B. Morgen

            The USS America is a poor replacement for the Tarawa class because the former does not have dock well. Your comments are [NOT] helping your position.

          • Rocco

            I don’t have a position I don’t really care here I’m merely stating what the navy officially classifies the ship as!!! It seems you feel the need to be right here & that’s what a troll does. Poor replacement my bye!!! 😴

          • John B. Morgen

            I’m right and I’m [NOT] a troll.

          • Rocco

            Well if you are who you state you are you wouldn’t say that😮

          • John B. Morgen

            I don’t just dance to any music that someone says that I have to—Rocco!

          • Rocco

            Then get with the times because the 2 step is for old farts!! Right or wrong which in this case you are wrong!!!

          • John B. Morgen

            There’d you go again, driving on the wrong side of the street.

          • Rocco

            And????!!!!

          • John B. Morgen

            There’s no (and) —Rocco.

          • Rocc

            Your right and……. Your wrong

          • John B. Morgen

            What bloody nonsense…..

          • Rocco

            Bloody!!! Your a Brit??? OMG no wonder !!!👀

          • John B. Morgen

            I like the bloody word.

          • Rocco

            Yeah ok keep it up.

    • Rocco

      Agreed! We need to keep what we got current & ready we also don’t have enough jets to deploy at this point so more carriers don’t Mk sence especially the ford class!! What makes sence now is the new LHA’s anphib class. F-35 capable & able to go in harms way unlike a carrier.

      • Secundius

        A Website called “The National Interest”, doesn’t actually come out and say it. But there’s a Greater then 50% chance that the Nimitz class Aircraft Carrier construction plans were “Data Dumped”, to make room for the Gerald Ford class Aircraft Carriers…

        • Rocco

          What does that mean?

          • Secundius

            Consider, WHY we (the USA) Buy’s Rocket Engines from the Russians. And DON’T Produce them Ourselves. If you want to Build a Saturn V Rocket, you’d have to LOOT a Museum to Reverse Engineer IT to Make One. There ARE Maintenance Plans Available, BUT Probably NOT “Actually” Construction Plans…

          • Rocco

            Ok but that doesn’t make sense as the Bush was the last Nimitz built with all the latest toys!! & the last of its class. No other since the Essex class in numbers. In my opinion if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.what we should of built was the CCV!!!

          • Secundius

            US Congress, has No Problems coming up with money to Update Their (US Congress) Computers Every Year. But ANY other Governmental or Military Computers (HaHa). The Gerald Ford was Designed in VIRTUAL Reality. Virtual Reality, takes up LOTS of Processing Power. In order to do that, you have to “Data Dump” Something. The Chances of the US Navy, re-building Any More Nimitz classes, are between NIL and NONE. It would Probably be Cheaper to Buy a “Bareboat” design of the British QE class and Modify them to Our (US Navy) Standards…

          • Rocco

            I don’t see that happening the Nimitz class have a 50 yr life cycle compared to conventional carriers ! Nimitz just getting refitted at 35 yrs!

          • El_Sid

            QE class have a 50-year projected lifespan. And you have to add on the cost of those refuellings – at $3bn they cost about as much as building a new QE in serial production.

          • Rocco

            Ok not that I said anything about the QE class. No matter what the ship having built in redondency is what can keep an investment like a carrier worth building!!

          • El_Sid

            You talked about the lifespan of conventional carriers – I mentioned a modern example of a conventional carrier with a 50-year lifespan.

          • Rocco

            No I talked about CVN Nimitz class life span!! I never mentioned a conventional carriers life span witch is about 35 yrs on average!!

          • El_Sid

            ” a 50 yr life cycle compared to conventional carriers ! Nimitz just getting refitted at 35 yrs!”

            That sounds like a comparison to the lifespan of conventional carriers… And the QEC demonstrate that there’s nothing written in stone about a 35 year lifespan.

          • Rocco

            That depends on the usage of the ship & deployments . With the gulf wars prolonged all the carriers are worn out! Between the 2 types CVN’s have more aviation fuel capacity & not need to take on fuel for just for the ship!! The QE class is mainly gonna be used to protect UK borders & interest!

          • El_Sid

            I might remind you that the last time the RN deployed aircraft carriers to protect UK territory, it was 8000 miles away in the South Atlantic…

            Plus a spot has already been booked to cover a US carrier gap in the Gulf in ~2021. The QECs will be worked hard just like all RN ships, they will be global assets to reflect the UK’s global interests.

          • Rocco

            No you don’t as I was a part of that !!! And if you red what I said was UK interest!!! 😉. & im sure it will be worked hard funds providing & that’s the job of your new prime minister!! Hopefully she can be half as good as margret thatcher was!😮

          • Secundius

            “ON AVERAGE” can be Extended on a Conventionally Powered Aircraft Carrier. Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carriers have a Mandatory 50-year Life Cycle. Because of Nuclear-Reactor and Low Level Radiation Leakage…

          • Rocco

            Why do you have to have the last word on this did you serve on any carrier!!

          • Secundius

            There were Actual Plans made for a Through-Deck Spruance class V/STOL/Destroyer in the ’80’s or ’90’s…

          • Rocco

            What does that have to do with anything??

          • Secundius

            Me and “John B. Morgen” were Discussing “Probable” Test Ships design for testing EMALS. Instead of Live Testing on a New Aircraft Carrier. Just to Find Out It Doesn’t Work…

          • Rocco

            It will eventually for 14 billion $ chunk of tax payers dollars that we all could handsomely retire from it better work or it will be the biggest LHA flight 1 ship!! Lol

          • Secundius

            “Eventually”?/! At this Exact Moment, It’s a 110,000-ton “Paperweight”…

          • Rocco

            Whatever!!😴

      • John B. Morgen

        The F-35B is the best suited aircraft to be assigned to USS America class aircraft carriers. The F-35B is the Harrier AV-8B replacement.

        • Secundius

          Placing a 12(deg) Ski-Jump Platform, reduces Takeoff Roll to just 435-feet. Without Ski-Jump, Takeoff Roll in 800+ feet and Eliminates Flight Deck Usage of Helicopters and MV-22C’s…

          • John B. Morgen

            You increase the beam by adding an angled flight deck for helicopter operations.

          • Rocco

            You can’t put a angle deck on the America class with the port side elevator in its port quarter location. The LHA-8 will have a 8′ wider beam soposedly & maybe 100′ longer which makes sense. What’s old is new again!!

          • John B. Morgen

            Yes you can because if you look at the aircraft carrier classes, the Nimitz, Enterprise, Kitty Hawk, Forrestal and Midway, all of them have angle decks on the port side with one port side elevator.

          • Rocco

            Dude I served on Forrestal Saratoga & Nimitz!! They all were designed from the Kiel up with the angle deck. You cannot I repeat cannot put one on an LHA with the port elevator in its location. The ship would have to be about 100′ longer & the elevator moved forward!! This is why it worked on Essex class carriers. It would be to much an undertaken to do this to an LHA.I’m done trying to explain this to an Air Force officer. Stick to you’re own expertise please!!

          • John B. Morgen

            Both Essex and Midway class aircraft carriers received angle deck conversations that were quite successful in carrying out Fleet deployments.

          • Secundius

            Not Entirely True? The Essex class WAS a “Short-Hulled” Configuration and the Midway class a “Long-Hulled” Configuration. But Essentially the SAME Primary (from the Keel to Flight Deck) Hull.

            The LHA-6, America class is a “Boxed Hulled” Configuration. And “Angling” the Flight Deck will cause the Ship to “Hog” in Operation. Boxed Hulls, are Purposely Designed for a Efficient Maximum Speed Passage of 22kts. SHE’S NOT a Medium Carrier by ANY Means, SHE doesn’t EVEN Qualify as “Light”. At BEST SHE’S a “Crossover”. And ALL “Crossovers”, have One thing in common, they can Perform Many Functions. But CAN’T Perform ANY One Function Well…

          • John B. Morgen

            That is not exactly true about the Essex class aircraft carriers because the class was made up of two groups: the first group is short hull; and the second group is the long hull. As for the American class, it is 50 feet shorter than the Essex class (CVs). What the Navy should have done was to design the America be 900 feet overall, with a beam of 235 feet (w/angel deck). The hull it itself would have two hull blusters, and one or two less decks than the American class (LHA-6).

          • Secundius

            I have to Agree with “Rocco”, that Making the “American” class perform the Duties of a Medium Aircraft Carrier is a Major Mistake. It can’t EVEN perform the Duties of a Light Aircraft Carrier…

          • John B. Morgen

            The USS America is designed to operate 23 F-35B, along with MV-22 aircraft. She is more of an aircraft carrier than a LHA; furthermore, she hull size ranks among with “standardized aircraft carriers (CV).

          • Secundius

            Twenty-Two F/AV-35B’s, NO MV-22C’s, NO MH-60R’s, or NO MH-60S’s. Only Support Aircrafts, to be Transported by Other Support Ship. Virtually “USELESS”. A proper Light Aircraft Carrier (Principe de Asturias/SCS-75 class) of 29 Aircrafts would be a Better Choice…

          • John B. Morgen

            I would have to say this about the USS America (LHA-6), and that is, the carrier was poorly designed and built. I would prefer something like the Royal Navy’s Illustrious (R-06), instead, but build her larger up to 880 feet—with a ski jump and angle flight deck..

          • Secundius

            NO Better than the LHA-6, 22 Aircrafts. Either ALL F/AV-35B’s or a Helicopter Mix. The SCS-75, can carry 3 Composite Squadrons of (18) F/A-35B’s, (3) MV-22C AEW’s, (2) MV-22C Tankers, (2) MV-22C COD’s, and (4) MH-60R’s…

          • John B. Morgen

            The Marine Corps is trying to have both ways: a carrier to provide fighter/strike ground support; and troop transport. The USMC were trying to reinvent the wheel. Yes a composite squadrons would work for such a carrier, but I have my doubts it would ever be implement.

          • Secundius

            LHA-6, USS America, is at BEST a Marine Corps Ground/Air Support Ship! 45,000-tons is a “Wee Bit” Heavy for A Light Aircraft Carrier, which CAN’T Even Perform the Duty of a Light Aircraft Carrier. America is the Medium Aircraft Carrier, EQUIVALENT to the LCS’s classes Performing the Duties of a Frigate and/or Destroyer role…

          • John B. Morgen

            The USMC could do better if the carrier was redesigned by removing one or two decks; thus, increasing the size of the hangar deck. I agree that the carrier is not a light carrier, but rather an odd medium carrier with a limited aircraft complement.

          • Secundius

            The US Government, has SEVERAL Dozens of Construction Plans for Medium Aircraft Carriers in Storage. “Dust One Off”, Modernize Them and Build It. It’s LESS Time Consuming that trying to Modify a “Camel” into a “Horse”…

          • John B. Morgen

            Are you referring to President Carter’s fated CVV project?

          • Rocco

            Yes he is as well as I was but there is new versions on line. Has different island locatios an cat positions but not conclusive to work with staging launch & recovery .its too cramped.

          • John B. Morgen

            There were more than one design option, but nevertheless, the so-called CVV was quite workable compare to the Royal Navy’s CVA-01 ill-fated project of 1960’s.

          • Secundius

            Depends on what it looks like? The Two Versions I can Remember, were CVV(1982) of ~56,500-tons and the other was called. CVN-82, Ranger class (probably a 3/4-scale Nimitz class), ~76,000-tons, 60-80 Aircrafts, 1,420 Ship Crew plus 1,060 Aviation Crew.

            But then again, Neither YOUR Vision or MINE are EVER going to “See-the-Light-of-Day” in the Foreseeable Future…

          • John B. Morgen

            Unfortunately the super aircraft carrier lobby still has influence over key Congressional members of Congress. It is quite a shame that logic and rational thinking of having a balance Fleet can be thwart by irrational thinking…..

          • Rocco

            Today that kind of ship would make sense. especially with the advent of the F-35 !!

          • Rocco

            Lol well put!!

          • Rocco

            If it didn’t have to carry marines that could work!

          • John B. Morgen

            The Marines are treating the USS America as if it was the same as a F/A-18A,B,C,E,F,G. A warship that could fulfilled two mission roles. The USS American should be treated as aircraft carrier that will provide fighter protection over invasion forces, and also air to ground support; nothing more than those two roles.

          • Rocco

            It maybe doing more than that if it comes down to it if a situation crisis occurs & F-35’s are needed & the B!!!! Version is the only one available if a carrier CVN don’t have the C model by then guess where its going. And of course humanitarian missions.

          • John B. Morgen

            The United States Navy does not care for the F-35B because the F-35B doe not required to operate from super aircraft carriers; furthermore, the super aircraft carrier lobby is afraid that the Congress might stopped funding anymore large carrier construction programs, since smaller carriers are much cheaper to build..

          • Rocco

            Ok let me clarify what I ment. An LHA would be on site instead for a CVN because carrier quales from the 1st squadron haven’t been done yet! The LHA with F-35 f….n B aboard can handle the situation !! Ok got it!!!! I know the navy has no interest in the B model even though I think they should start!!

          • Rocco

            I disagree on poorly built! I agree 880′ but instead of a fixed ramp a hydrolylic ramp is the way to go.a fixed ramp causes with sheer & resistance over the flight deck! S designed the America cannot accommodate a angle deck period!!

          • John B. Morgen

            An angle flight deck can be fitted, among by adding hull blusters for adding stability… My position that she was poorly designed and built still stands. You should take a good look at the British aircraft carrier the HMS Hermes, and study her. She was used during the Falklands War before she was sold to India.

          • Rocco

            Know her harriers did flight ops with us but she is a very old design insignificant for today I think.

          • John B. Morgen

            She still can deploy aircraft, however, the Indian Navy is replacing her with a newer aircraft carrier.

          • Rocco

            Yeah soviet junk lol💩👳🏾

          • Secundius

            Shtorm, had 8 Steam Boilers, One Blew Up taking out the Machinery Spaces in that Section. And “Crippling” the Ship. It’s the ONLY reason why the Asking Price is ~$987-MILLION USD. Unknown Question is, Did the Blown Boiler Damage the Reactor Containment Vessel Protecting the Reactor…

          • John B. Morgen

            The ex-Soviet aircraft carrier was totally a rebuilt from the inside out. It is a much different carrier. Take a look of her.

          • Secundius

            The ONLY Problem I see with a Hydraulic Ramp, IS. Where do you “Hide” the Hydraulics and the Support Equipment to Make It Work. YES there’s Miniaturization in Hydraulics, But Not Enough to Handle a 60,000-Pound F/AV-35B’s Maximum Take-Off Weight…

          • Rocco

            Sure it can. It can also be hydro electric!!

          • Rocco

            Agreed but with 2 to 4 HH 60 helos for mishaps & search & rescues !

          • Secundius

            The Original SCS-75 Concept Design, called for Two additional “LAMPS III” Helicopter as an Emergency Reserve for Support Ships without Hanger Spacing…

          • Rocco

            not on America!!

          • Secundius

            No Place to Put Them? If you Put (22) F/AV-35B’s on the LHA-6, America. You Have NO Room for Anything Else…

          • Rocco

            True but I never said that Morgan did initially. But if u leave one helo on deck not all F-35 on deck it could work.

          • Secundius

            Hanger Spacing Limit, is ~17 Aircraft! ALL Others ON DECK, Limited with ONLY Two Deck Elevators. The Ballet Choreography is going to be a BITCH…

          • Rocco

            Well we shal see as the America is to test with the F-35 this coming month.

          • Secundius

            They could Tow a 100-foot long Barge, with a Two-Way “Zip Line” between them. And put the “Helos” There…

          • Rocco

            Hah hah hah!!!😴

          • Secundius

            They can Name the Barge, after the Worlds First Aircraft Carrier USS George Washington Parke-Custis of 1861…

          • Rocco

            Ok now your getting somewhere. I’ve already mentioned on all blogs that it would of benefited to make the ship at 900′! A beam AF 235 ‘ is ridiculous!! The flight deck is what you should you say. Now your talking about a new class of ship that is called a CVV already proposed, ( look it up ) with 2 cats. A longer LHA is in the making with LHA-8 at about 900’ but the power plants may not be able to accommodate the extra weight currently.

          • John B. Morgen

            The LHA-6 design concept is a bad design, and the program should be cancel. As for the CVV, I already know about it because I was around there when President Carter rejected the Congressional option, and that was, Congress would approved two CVNs for one CVV, whereby the president veto the option—period! No CVV was built.

          • Rocco

            Yes I was also but I disagree with you about America being a bad idea. What’s a bad idea is the Ford class at taxpayers expense!!

          • John B. Morgen

            We only agreed that the Ford class was a bad idea, and that is fair enough for me.

          • Secundius

            ALL “None” built or those STILL under construction should have the EMALS “Deleted” from their Designs. Until the EMAL System have been FIXED…

          • Rocco

            Agreed the JFK was just started so it’s not to far along that a major change could be made like this but I seriously doubt it will! It would have to be almost totally redesigned to allow for all the steam pipes to be plumbed through the ship to accomadate the steam systems! With that saying either scrap the ship & or class because the cost & time delay would be costly & cause a big problem for the ship yards! Not to mention the build as planned contract!! 😯

          • Secundius

            How many 110,000-ton “Paperweights” are they Building?

          • Rocco

            You know that answer!! 3!!!

          • Secundius

            Actually I DIDN’T! I Knew about Ford, JFK and Enterprise! But it was my Understanding as a Nimitz class Replacement, “At Least 10 Aircraft Carriers”. Possibly MORE (But with the way of Congressional Funding) Probably LESS…

          • Rocco

            Yes those 3 are allocated . Kennedy was started already & supposed to be done by 2020. But if lessons aren’t learned with the ford I bet they get cancelled & the Ford will be a 1 class ship like the Enterprise .

          • David Brown

            old Navy saying. “when in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout”.

          • John B. Morgen

            Too many delays, and once again we are back to ground zero as we were before. Is this EMAL system really worth it?

          • Secundius

            Not at the Present Time, or Even the Foreseeable Future. And Probably NOT even by 2019 as Promised by Generally Atonic (General Atomics)…

          • John B. Morgen

            I remembered General Atomics because I had applied for a few job positions with them, but I never received a response from them.

          • Rocco

            Agreed, but time will tell.

          • John B. Morgen

            Agreed…..

          • Rocco

            Thankyou!! But the tycondaroga class Essex was a long hull also.

          • Secundius

            I don’t Remember the “Ticonderoga”?

          • Rocco

            Yes named after the fort!

          • David Brown

            you are correct. the Essex class had long and short hull configurations. Midway class were a completely different design, and much larger than the Essex ships. they even had a different hull classification. CVB.

          • Rocco

            The Midway was a abortion project of after thoughts to the point that the ship had a hard time in rough seas because it had too much overhang for the hull sailor not!! She had a cat on the port side the Essex did not & only one level extension under flight deck space wise.hense less weight. The other 2 as well CV -42 & 43!! But not as extensive as the midway.

          • John B. Morgen

            Any aircraft carrier is going to have a hard time in rough seas, and yes the Midway had quite of an overhang angle deck, but the Navy kept her operational for very long time.

          • Rocco

            Yes it was a porpoise yes they kept her going & right into museum status lol. If it wasn’t for the money invested in her Midway would of been retired sooner.

          • John B. Morgen

            We needed aircraft carriers during the Cold War, and even after the Cold War; especially, during the Gulf Wars.

          • Rocco

            Agreed & I remember both the midway and the New Jersey sailing together again after many many years again!😎

          • John B. Morgen

            I have photograps of two warships sailing together.

          • Rocco

            Cool ditto.

          • John B. Morgen

            My photographs are in color.

          • Rocco

            Ok now who cares !! Omg Di you have to one up me for that!!! No you just proved you are a troll.

          • John B. Morgen

            My comment stands—regardless if you agree or disagree.

          • Rocco

            🐴😱

          • John B. Morgen

            What?

          • Rocco

            Those ships have the port side elevator forward past amidships except for the Nimitz and enterprise whitch was scrapped!!

          • John B. Morgen

            It was done before, and it can be done again….

          • Secundius

            It looks like the RAF is planning to Replace the AN/GAU-12/U Equalizer (6x25x137mmR) Rotary Cannon with the BAE/Rheinmetall/Mauser Bk.27 (27x145mmR) Impulse Revolver Cannon on the BK.3 (F/AV-35B’s). They placed a Sizeable Order for the Cannon System…

          • John B. Morgen

            The RAF must have found a new religion in aircraft armaments. It is going to costs the RAF a lot of Pounds, for this new replacement.

          • Secundius

            The Original Gun System Specification were for the BK-27. Which is 22-kilograms Lighter in Weight and a Single Gun Mechanism instead of THREE Separate Units like the AN/GAU-12 and also takes up less space that the Rotary 25mm…

          • Rocco

            Yeah ok what ever you say you are the Air force expert on naval engineering!! You just want to sterr the pot with this endless argument that you can continue with you’re pal secondius !!

          • John B. Morgen

            Rocco: I have done some naval architecture during my past years; I’m a naval historian and also a military historian as well; plus, a warshipologist for many decades. I’m a Cold War veteran, and have worked for the DOD. I’d do know somethings about warships and aircraft.

          • Rocco

            He never mentioned a ski ramp?? Put I like the idea of a hydrolytic ramp that can pop up when needed!!

          • Secundius

            Hydraulic Ski-Jump Ramp NOT Practical because of Thermion Protective Coating used on Flight Deck. Too much “Manipulation” of Hydraulic Ramp, would Cause Thermion Bounding to Crack and Break. And Thermion is a Drydock ONLY Application…

          • Rocco

            I don’t agree!! Jet blast deflectors are hydrolic and cooled with sea water on all CVNs so I don’t see why a hydrolic ram wouldn’t work!😯😎

          • Secundius

            A Carrier Aircraft DOESN’T Take-Off SITTING On a Blast Deflector! And a Ski-Jump Ramp ISN’T A Blast Deflector, But a LAUNCHING Ramp…

          • Rocco

            No kidding !! After serving on 3 carriers I think I know what I’m talking about!! & the Thermion coating is Only in the rear of the flight deck spots 7&8!! I was on the USS WASP LHD 1 as a quest & views the area that only get the coating. So stop trying to one up me on knowledge because you can’t.

          • Secundius

            It your NOT Utilizing the Entire 820-foot Flight Deck of the America class Gator-Freighter. Thermion can be Applied to the Landing Area’s for the F/AV-35B’s or Mv-22C’s for Out-Gassing. But if you Using the ENTIRE Length of the Flight Deck for Different Operations, Involving AH-1Z’s, CH-53K’s F/AV-35B’s and MV-22C’s. Then you’re going to have to Install a Ski-Jump Ramp for the F/AV-35B’s, which require a Minimum of 500-feet to Take-Off. In which case the Thrust Deflection Nozzle ISN’T going to be in the Conventional Take-Off Mode, but in the 45(deg) Angle Mode for Take-Off. Which ALSO means that Thermion is Going to be Applied to the ENTIRE Length of the Flight Deck…

          • Rocco

            A no its not I was on the ship & asked all those questions so take my word for it!! Just look it up instead of arguing with me!!

          • Secundius

            Conventional Take-Off for a F/AV-35B is about 800-feet. With Ski-Jump, Distance is Reduced to ~435-feet. If you use it in the Conventional Take-Off Mode, there’s NO Room on the Flight Deck for Anything Else to Operate…

          • Rocco

            Ahh no watch the U tube videos of the F-35 B taking off from the WASP in half that distance .do the math the ship is 844′ long it takes off starting point is next to the center of the island. Not the entire length. Full fuel & internal weapons. By the way this blog is about the Ford not LHA’s.

          • Secundius

            Other than the F/AV-35B, What Other Type of Aircraft was being Used on the LPH Flight Deck…

          • Rocco

            If I have to tell you this I’d be an idiot! I think you know this so let’s leave this game as done.

        • Rocco

          Ahh yes I think I know that!! We didn’t need the ford class to begin with which is gonna force the early retirement of Nimitz class ships way to early because of operating costs & squadron availability. So your reply back to me is irrelevant & not what I had stated to you of what you said of needing more carriers of large CVN’s which we don’t.

          • John B. Morgen

            You did [NOT] specified which F-35 that you were referring to, therefore, what I stated was more than being relevant—I was just being precise…..

          • Rocco

            Isn’t it obvious its the F35B!!! Sir!! The harrier replacement. You were not being precise which is why I need to correct you.

          • John B. Morgen

            You were not being precise, and you [never] stated F-35B. I had to get it out from you….

          • Rocco

            I didn’t have to!! If you knew what your talking about u would have to ask.

          • John B. Morgen

            Yes you have to because the Department of the Navy is deploying two types of F-35s: the F-35Bs; and the F-35Cs. Therefore, my comment stands…

          • Rocco

            No as I stated I know what branch gets which F-35!!! If you know what you are talking about I wouldn’t have to clarify this as by now its common knowledge .so what ever.

          • John B. Morgen

            In your previous comments, you came across as if you didn’t know.

          • Rocco

            Sorry for the confusion then😉

        • Rocco

          The America is not an aircraft carrier!!!

          • John B. Morgen

            USS America is an aircraft carrier, and it’s primary mission is to provide invasion forces with air to ground support with F-35B aircraft..

  • NavySubNuke

    My biggest concern is this $13B marvel of technology can be mission killed by land-based anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBMs) costing in the $10M – $20M price range. Although I doubt the ability of the Chinese to engage our carriers with an ASBM today – I’m not so sure they won’t be able to in 10 years – never mind in 15 or 20.
    The math isn’t exactly on our side when they can fire 1200 missiles at a single target and still spend less money than us.
    If an ASBM (or 4) does tear apart the flight deck – including the fancy new EM catapult and advanced arresting gear – how quickly can those systems be repaired and the ship placed back into service? I’d be shocked if the answer was anything less than 6 months…….

  • B.J. Blazkowicz

    Concurrency the screw up that just keeps on giving. Time to fire some of the top brass for this crap.
    They could have gave it CATOBAR and made a new sub-class later but common sense stopped being thing in the Pentagon since Vietnam.

  • wilkinak

    If it were up to John McCain, the Navy would still be flying the planes he crashed years ago.

    • Rocco

      Really dude I’m gonna keep this clean again .if you were a real man say that to his face.!! You couldn’t last a day in hotel Hilton!! Let alone you lower you’re troll self even lower!!

  • John B. Morgen

    I’m older than you, and I have around a lot longer than you, and I have a MA degree in naval history and technical naval history. As far as I concern you’re acting like a bloody [TROLL], either you act and be polite. Or you should stop posting anymore of your nonsense for this USNI Forum; because I do not have the time for you or anyone like you.
    Most of the people here are ex-Navy, or still working for the DOD, or people who are still in the Navy and who working on naval projects, or people who working DOD type publications—but 99% of them are polite— more so than I can say about you—Rocco.

    • Rocco

      Ahh troll I am not I am x navy & proud of it! I don’t like some x Air Force desk jockey telling me I need to read the aircraft carrier history! It teach the stuff ok!! I know what I’m talking about. & how do you know that you are older than me! & if it’s true so what! U are wiser ??? ….. Not!! & I don’t appreciate you telling me because I was a tech that you want nothing to do with me. So what am I supposed to make of that comment?? No wait I’m not in your league right😱😴😴😴😴😂😂😂😪😳

      • John B. Morgen

        Rocco: I never question about your service in the United States Navy, nor I asked you for your MOS or rank; I took your word without a doubt. I expected that you would reciprocate; instead you acted with impudence at my expense. When I gave you some examples which supports my thesis; for example, with the HMS Hermes (R 12), which is the best example that actually fits with the USS America (LHA-6) design concept. INSTEAD YOU responded with an empirical observation of the said carrier was which conducting operations with your carrier; therefore, you did not conducted any research— if had I would have gotten a much better response from you. The way that you acted towards me was uncalled for, which I responded to you in kind. I informed you about my background which you forgotten very conveniently. You’d Rocco, I don’t mind if you agree or disagree with me, but your people skills needs improvement. In your mind, you operate on one way street; whereas this News USNI forum operates on a two way street for ideas. My all other comments stand.

        • Rocco

          Well blah blah blah !!! I guess you for got the insult of you saying that I’m not worthy of you talking with me when I said I was a tank inspector & crawled through every hold, tank, void on my ship during SLEP period& and I should study air craft carrier construction & history! So again whatever but here you are still at it! So the way you acted towards me was uncalled for!! If you want respect from me you act accordingly. That includes me correcting your unsubstantiated opinions and facts!! This blog is about the Ford carrier which the topic you refuse to stay on!!! Not the USS America LHA-6 not a carrier,& again you insist on calling it one!! & every other stupid thing you said that it should have. Oh and the color pictures……………!!! The HMS Hermes was a carrier not an LHA or even close in y opinion ! The closest ship to compare to America is the wasp class ship which it’s based off from. & this is all in the navy’s web site dude. But I guess I didn’t do my research .

          • John B. Morgen

            I do not need your respect Rocco because we are done with this nonsense, and main topic has been reduced beyond the point which I’m no longer care.about. Good day.

          • Rocco

            See ya!! Don’t let the door hit you in the🐴. Lol!👀

          • John B. Morgen

            I think you’d need [Professional] help—-Rocco. However, my wife who is in behavioral sciences has analyzed your comments and believes that you’re in a psyc. ward, and also using their computer as a quest for this forum. She thinks you’re a [sociopath]. Good day, and don’t let the door hit you. OOOPP! The doors are locked. Lol!!!!

          • Rocco

            U both make a good pair then congrats! U have someone that agrees with u!! & no I’m not gonna spell out my words because now I know it annoys U!!!😮😪😰😥😂😴 !,,, please give me a break, u take this all way to seriously dude it’s just a blog. Maybe you need a therapy session !! U can get it free!

  • Rocco

    Why!! Stop instagating an argument with this its annoying sorry to say but your not gonna insult my intelligence.

    • John B. Morgen

      I’m not starting anything, but stating a fact about your comment above. That’s all!