Home » Budget Industry » Carrier Gerald R. Ford Completes Builder’s Trials, Prepares For Acceptance Trials, Delivery ‘This Spring’


Carrier Gerald R. Ford Completes Builder’s Trials, Prepares For Acceptance Trials, Delivery ‘This Spring’

The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) arrives at Naval Station Norfolk after returning from builder’s sea trials and seven days underway. During this initial at-sea period, Gerald R. Ford’s crew, representatives from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, the Navy’s CVN 78 Program Office, the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair and various technical subject matter experts demonstrated many of the ship’s key systems. US Navy Photo

Aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completed its builder’s trials today and is back at Naval Station Norfolk to begin preparations for its upcoming acceptance trials.

The seven-day test event included tracking aircraft using the Dual Band Radar, conducting no-load cycles using the new electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS), and small boat operations, the Navy said in a news release.

This and upcoming test events are meant to prove the ship is ready for delivery and commissioning into the fleet and will not begin to test the ship’s ability to launch and recover real airplanes. That testing with all the fixed-wing types of planes in the air wing will take place once the ship has commissioned, USNI News has previously reported. The Navy discovered problems with the advanced arresting gear system in 2015 and proved last fall at a land-based test facility that the solution works, but the Navy won’t have an opportunity to test the solution on a fight deck at sea until after commissioning.

“As is typical with sea trials, the Navy and shipbuilder learned a great deal about the ship’s performance during the extensive testing. Analysis continues, and any identified corrective actions will be addressed,” according to a Naval Sea Systems Command news release.

The test event was run by Newport News Shipbuilding and included the ship’s crew, the CVN-78 program office, the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair and others. Builder’s trials had previously been scheduled for March, and the at-sea event was again delayed a few days at the beginning of April due to bad weather in the Norfolk area.

The Navy will now take over the test program and will conduct acceptance trials next. The NAVSEA statement notes the ship is on track for delivery this spring – with the Navy previously estimating an April delivery but that now looking unlikely – and the Navy has declined to speculate on when the commissioning ceremony may take place. The ship was previously planned to commission as early as March 2016.

  • Ron Snyder

    The sole purpose of its being is as a mobile airfield- I’ll wait to see how the ship performs real world on that task.

    • Aubrey

      A CVN really is the real-world example of “too big to fail”. They’re too important, and too expensive, to see flop. Whatever can be done, WILL be done…and MUST be done.

      • Ron Snyder

        Then why was an unproven aircraft launch & recovery system used? I’ve read that hulls 1 and 2 of this class were too far along to change back to the proven steam system, but that the 3rd hull may have to use steam vs the dysfunctional system on the first two hulls.

        • muzzleloader

          The 3d hull would be CVN-80, The new Enterprise. That ship is still 10 years out. In that time interval, the USS Nimitz will will be at the end of her service life, and the USS Eisenhower not far behind. Aubrey is right. What must be done MUST be done.

          • ron_snyder

            I hope they fix the new launch and recovery gear before long then. We cannot afford the Ford’s to be a large scale LCS.

          • Duane

            The LCS is a success, contrary to the negative nannies on the internet. The Navy and the crews who sail the LCS love it.

          • Ron Snyder

            Next you will be telling us how wonderful the USS Zumwalt is.

          • Duane

            The Zumwalt is a very fine warship, yes. And your problem with it is?

            C’mon, troll, tell us why the Zumwalt sucks.

          • Ron Snyder

            Such a wonderful ship that they only built three of them.

          • Duane

            They only built one USS Enterprise class aircraft carrier – does that mean it was a POS? Right now the Ford class is committed for only 4 hulls … does that make the Ford a POS?

            C’mon – tell us.

          • Ron Snyder

            The Enterprise, being the first nuke carrier, was literally in a class by herself. Ballooning costs and the many lessons learned turned out to be the reason for only one Enterprise class carrier.

            The DDG-1000 ended up costing about $4 Billion per copy, roughly the same as a Nimitz Class carrier. Zumwalt, like the LCS, is a case of being a bright & shiny toy that those with a fetish for new, unproven technology insisted upon.

            ”Everything is new,” Stackley told Defense News. “From the propulsion plant, the power distribution – the whole integrated power system – the extraordinarily unique features of the hull form that provide the degree of stealth and survivability, the radar system, the degree of automation that’s incorporated into the ship to enable the reduced-size crew – it’s all new.” 12Nov2015

            As to the Ford, time will tell. With the Navy crying for more money spending $14 Billion for a Ford vs $4 Billion for the Nimitz Class makes many doubt the ability of the Navy to properly husband the use of taxpayer dollars.

            No need to get emotional Duane.

          • Duane

            No – a Nimitz class carrier delivered in 2017 would cost about $9B. Don’t compare costs from decades ago. Everything inflates over time, just due to currency inflation… and all weapons and ships tend to get new equipment, new capabilities, upgrades and such, so don’t use costs from decades ago to compare to today’s costs.

          • Ken N

            Considering that CVN-80 will probably start building next year or 2019 they really don’t have 10 years to perfect AAG and EMLS.

        • Duane

          The purpose of the EMALs is to provide a smoother launch, which reduces airframe stress and therefore increases airframe life, and also improve reliability and sortie rate. It’s proven on land, the only way to prove it on an operating carrier is to install and operate it on an operating carrier. That’s how you develop new technologies.

          • Ken N

            In some ways EMALS and especially AAG WEREN’T proven on land. AAG reliability numbers were dismal even during land testing..but they installed it on the Ford anyway. The last Pentagon 2016 report painted a a pretty bleak picture for AAG (AAG will have a near zero chance of sustaning ONE day of air ops)). I really hope significant progress has been made since .

          • Duane

            Well, the only way to prove out a ship system ultimately is to put it on the ship and use it. Everything prior to that is just an attempt to model the real world performance.

          • Al B.

            EMALS is farther along than AAG. Several months ago, the shipbuilder lobbed 242 dummy loads from CVN-78, simulating various aircraft weights, into the James River. No problems.

            The issue with EMALS is to make it reliable enough to meat the Navy’s requirement for combat sorties before maintenance is required. I’m confident they’ll get there. AAG is shakier but recent testing info is encouraging.

            The Navy will get there if they can survive the politicians.

  • Roger Holtzmann

    Let’s see…aircraft carriers have been using arresting gear for at least 70 years. Given all that experience, Huntington-Ingalls should be able to design something that works, no? Not in the bizarro world of defense contracting, apparently. Reminds me of the F-35 fiasco in which the builders somehow can’t design a functional oxegyn system.

    • Al B.

      Huntington-Ingalls didn’t design AAG, or EMALS for that matter. General Atomics did. Totally different technology from the steam-driven launch and recovery systems on carriers up until CVN-78. Your question should be directed to the Navy.

      Newport News Shipbuilding has done its job and will deliver the carrier to the Navy in the next couple of months. It’s up to the Navy and its EMALS/AAG contractor to prove this system out. There’s lots riding on it for the future of big-deck carriers and their ability to launch and recover UAV’s, as well as manned aircraft with improved service life due to lesser stress on the airframes.

      • Rocco

        Kudos

        • Al B.

          Thanks. One can question, as John McCain and others certainly have, whether it was prudent to spend $13 billion on a radically redesigned aircraft carrier when the critical launch and arresting gear technology was essentially unproven. I can also understand the pressure the Navy was under with the ‘Big E’ facing retirement and future Naval warfare planning dependent on the new technologies and a new carrier platform with new reactor design to accommodate increased power needs.

          Tough choices all around.

          • Rocco

            Agreed. I for one was not a fan of all eggs in one basket but who am I to say!! Moving forward is moving forward. Let’s just hope everything works as prescribed especially since we payed for it. The minute she has an issue the media will be all over it lol.

          • Aubrey

            CVNs will not be going away soon, nor should they. That being said, do we need only CVNs? Probably not…although I would not, at this point, jump in with both feet, I think working through how to incorporate and use real, effective CVLs (and CVSs, and all the other fun variants) would be of tremendous value. We obviously already have the nascent capability, so a “demonstrator” task force would not be too far out of the realm of possibility.

          • Rocco

            Agreed & time will tell. But I really don’t think a real CVL with cats will be built if the America class fills that nitch. with the F-35B on them it may just be the ticket. I feel the ship should of been stretched to 900′. Then a CVL concept can be worked off that hull.

          • Fred Gould

            Already been proven. During the Iraqi Invasion 2 big deck amphibious assault ships functioned as light carriers. On another web site the Marines are working on using LHD’s as light carriers.

          • USNVO

            The problem of not putting all your “eggs in one basket” is you get three “one off” ships. You can’t have EMALS without new generators, new higher voltage bus, new reactors. Since you then have to completely change your internal arrangement, you better move the island so you don’t have to rearrange the internals twice or three times. Once you do that you have to go to new elevators and deck park, so make all those changes. And, you might as well install new radars since your old suite doesn’t fit anymore. And it just keeps going on, it really doesn’t matter what you pick as your starting point, everything is interdependent. The original plan was a three ship transition, but when they looked at it closely, it would cost a lot more and be a logistics nightmare. So they bit the bullet and did all the changes at once. Expensive but the alternative was worse. And a FORD is still cheaper in lifetime costs than a NIMITZ and delivers 1/5 more deployment days.

          • Rocco

            Yes on paper!! This remains to be seen as the Ford is a long way from doing a deployment.When she gets a few under her belt with out breakdown’s then come talk to me. Lol!⚓

          • @USS_Fallujah

            IMO it was a bad idea to pack so many technology upgrades into one program and a first of class ship too. Better to make the first ship the deck redesign and new power plant/electric systems and build in space to back fit technology inserts like new radars, EMALS, AAG, etc.

          • Duane

            CVNs are too expensive and take too long to design and build to make incremental changes. We only have an actual commitment to a total of four Ford class CVNs, one of which is completed and two more are under construction … there isn’t time or money to make a new ship class of one, then test and tweak, then take another 12-15 years to create another new class with “proven technology”. By the way, that’s exactly how we did the first CVNs – we started with the Enterprise, whose development began in the early 1950s, was first placed in service in 1962, then we didn’t produce our next CVN until the Nimitz which didn’t go into service until 1975.

            This was the way to go – with a 21st century design. It will all work out fine. If further tweaks are necessary to the EMALS and AAG, then do them on the Ford, and then implement the tweaks on the subsequent hulls.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Almost all of the Nimitz CVNs were basically “class of one” ships. When you have 5 or so years between commissioning you naturally build in new technology inserts. Given how poorly the Ford program has gone it’s hard to defend doing the same thing if you could go back and change path.

          • USNVO

            Small changes, but the reactors are the same, engineering equipment layout is the same, the island is in the same spots, deck layout is the same, elevators are the same, all the catapults are the same, the steam distribution is the same, the electrical distribution is the same, aircraft recovery is the same, topside radars are the same (although not what CVN-68 started with), The hull of the ship with it’s associated discharges are the same, etc. so no, they changed what’s in the ship but the really expensive stuff to change is the same. About the only major changes was the introduction of the Improved Side Protection plan beginning with the Washington and Lincoln and the Fresh Water CHT system with the GHWB. The rest were changes to sponsons, topside antennas, etc.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Which is why I thought they should do the reactor, electrical distribution & deck redesign and leave the less proven technology inserts for overhaul and next in class.

          • USNVO

            Well there are a few problems with that.
            1. If you don’t include EMALS, then you still have large quantities of steam outside the main spaces being moved to the catapults. So you entire arrangement of spaces will have to be changed when you add EMALS and all its associated equipment that is not in the same place as what it is replacing. There was a reason the design work on the FORD ran into the Billions of dollars and now you are going to have to do it all over. But that is not all, you also have to change your main spaces because you have to generate and distribute steam for the catapults, requiring more stuff in the main spaces. And, you will need a bunch more people who have to have berthing, etc. Oh, and a huge part of the maintenance savings was getting rid of steam catapults and the work required on them.
            2. You can’t really move the island and change the deck park if you don’t have new radars, you need the old island to have enough space topside for all the radars and other stuff. Beyond that, you have to rearrange your below deck spaces to accommodate the new island so you only want to do that once.
            3. The deck park works because they changed the elevators and other services as well as moved the island and made it smaller, but now there are steam lines in the way. More changes that will have to be changed again.

            I could go on, but it is all interconnected. So you end up repeating all the design work over and over and you don’t start moving down the learning curve as fast. And you have to deal with a couple of one off ships. About the only thing they had some flexibility on is the AAG which fits in roughly the same space as before. Much better to just do it all at once and be done with it. Kind of like taking a bandage off.

            What they could have done was just do a GHWB repeat and pushed the entire redesign to the right by 5 or more years. That would have allowed more time to test out the various components on land. It would have cost more and, given the long program length, provided no guarantee that all the development programs wouldn’t have been slowed down to fund all the other things in high demand over the last 5 or 6 years leaving you in the same boat down the road. It would have been the low risk option but it also wouldn’t have started to reduce the manning and one of the driving factors on the FORD was the fact that there is no topline relief and 600+ bodies is a huge plus for every community out there. Having a bunch of the people be really expensive and hard to find nuclear power guys was just a bonus.

            At least at the end of the long, painful journey, the FORD will be pretty much just like all the rest of the FORD class. Everything they learn on the FORD will be of value to every ship that comes after it. You will immediately start accruing the full benefits of learning curve, manning, and maintenance, and you will avoid having weird, one off ships. I have a hard time complaining about that.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            That’s a pretty compelling argument…to have built 1-2 more Nimitz Class CVNs before going whole hog on the technology jumps. The cost overruns alone are almost enough to pay for another CVN.

          • USNVO

            Only because hindsight is 20/20. Manning and paying for the fleet is going to get harder, not easier. The longer you wait to make the changes, the longer you take to address the problems and every decision locks you in to the status quo for 50 years. Against the manpower savings and long periods between major overhauls, a few billion dollars and a couple of years is worth it. Even if you assume a conservative 600 man reduction, that is 30,000 man years you avoided by going all in on the FORD. And, that is 600 people a year you don’t have to steal from someone else or that you can use in other areas. And, there is no guarantee that your funding wouldn’t have disappeared once you kicked the can down the road. The people making the decisions didn’t have the luxury of being able to look into the future, unlike all of us Internet commenters.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            You are assuming a more rational world that doesn’t exist for NavSea or the Appropriations committees. The price tag so far on the Ford is $12.7B+, not including $4.7B+ in R&D money. This is the kind of boondoggle that gives life to the CVE & SSGN crowd who would throw away one of our greatest military assets.

          • Michael Hiteshew

            $18 billion is nothing when amortized over 40-50 years of sea power deployments. Especially when cumulative US GDP over that time will be more than a quadrillion dollars (1,000 trillion).

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Technically the cost wouldn’t just be amortized over the 50 year lifespan of the USS Ford, but also over the 3+ ships of the class, but the problem is by the time you’ve “made good” that investment the congressmen and senators you need to support continued appropriations for shipbuilding are retired, or dead. The damage done by poorly run building programs is immediate and can severely damage the ability of the USN to lobby for the shipbuilding funds they need to build (and sustain!) a complete force. Thus saying “$18 billion is nothing” you miss very real and sustained damage being done to the Navy via boondoggles like the Ford (and LCS, DDG-1000 & JSF).

          • Michael Hiteshew

            The carriers and F-35 are worth every penny. As for the DDG-1000 and the LCS I think the USN just doesn’t quite know what they want to build and are experimenting.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            What you call experimenting those in congress, holding the purse strings, may call floundering. Again what may be a wise decision in 20 years looks like a disaster now. And the funding decision to support the force structure needed are being made now. To paraphrase king Pyrrhus One other such shipbuilding success would utterly undo us.

          • Duane

            No – the Nimitz class carriers are virtually identical in all the important design factors, other than periodic updates of various hardware subsystems that naturally occurs over 40 years of production.

            The Ford class is an entirely different class of CVN, in all the important design factors.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            so update the important design factors for the ship class, hull/deck redesign, new reactors & electrical distribution and leave the less proven technology for next in class and future inserts. It’s what GAO suggested they do 10 years ago, but no one listens to GAO.

          • Duane

            The less proven technology such as steam cats would not accomplish the requirements for the class, which is to totally redesign the entire air unit handling process in order to squeeze 30% more sorties out of the same hull, and to reduce the manpower to operate the ship by 33%.

            The point of the Ford class was never to do “more of the same, only slightly better”.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            You say that like it’s a good thing. The cost overruns are in danger of putting the entire CVN program on a sandbar.

          • Duane

            The costs are actually an underrun – the lifetime cost to buy and operate a Ford Class carrier saves an average $5 billion per ship over operations of the Nimitz class carriers.

            So yes, it is a very good thing – saves a huge amount of cost over old tech 20th century systems.

          • @USS_Fallujah

            Making good on the cost of the overruns on the USS Ford is going to take a decade or more, which is fine over the 50 year lifespan of the ship, but ignores the damage done to the support for USN shipbuilding on CH.

          • Al B.

            There’s more to “back fitting” EMALS and AAG into a new carrier than building in space for it. You’d still have to tear up a brand new aircraft carrier to install the systems. 🙂

          • @USS_Fallujah

            It certainly wouldn’t be easy, but given how poorly this build has gone it makes sense to have deferred some of the less developed technology for the first overhaul.

          • USNVO

            Well, anyone can think of a impossible plan.

          • Duane

            How else do you “prove” new technology, once it has been designed and tested on the ground, other than to install it on a carrier and test it there?

            There is no other way to prove than to prove.

          • Al B.

            They just trapped the first Super Hornet with a shipboard version of AAG on land last year.

            Donald Rumsfeld presided over the decision to use the EM technology for launch and recovery on the CVN-78 class over 10 years ago. I don’t disagree with the decision but the predictable carping by the politicians over the delays and costs has put the Navy in a difficult PR position. I was just trying to highlight the present difficulties for the Navy in supporting this decision while staring at another 3 or 4 years of qualifications before CVN-78 is ready for its first deployment. You’re going to hear the carping non-stop until then.

      • Marcd30319

        Well said!

    • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

      I think the Lightning might be the only aircraft in the fleet that actually doesn’t suffocate its pilots.

      • Marjus Plaku

        No they just shock/bounce them to death on launch and recovery. We’ll see this summer if the fixes work out at sea.

        • Duane

          Nobody died. No issues at all on recovery, only on cat launch and only with no weps on board and a very light (non-standard) fuel load.

          • Marjus Plaku

            Hmm thanks for the info! I’m a big fan of the F-35C so I was being sarcastic. I know the fleet will benefit tremendously from having a 5th gen on the carriers so I hope all the kinks are ironed out quickly. Long term, going from steam to magnetic catapults should make things smoother in general.
            Thanks again.

        • Oskar

          How’d the F-35 do at Red Flag?

          • Michael Hiteshew

            The F-35 has been crushing everything in sight on every exercise it’s been on.

          • Oskar

            Exactly!

            The fan-boy trolls are thankfully starting to STFU as the F-35 proves itself.

    • Duane

      Your completely confused. The oxygen issues are with the old F/A 18 Hornets and Super Hornets, and with the old T-45 Trainers … no problems with that on the F-35 at all. The F-35 is the exact opposite of a fiasco – it’s an earthshaking, roaring success story. Best all time warbird to ever fly.

      • Rocco

        I think lighting struck him in his head!!

      • Ken N

        yeah..that’s a little bit of a stretch…

        “””it’s an earthshaking, roaring success story”””

        • Duane

          Best warbird on the planet, ever .. not even close.

      • Ron Snyder

        How much is LM paying you for the glowing praise of the F-35? Still many problems with the airframe, never been in combat, not tested against world class surface-to-air missiles (esp. Russian S-300/400) yet you call it the best all time warbird?

        • Duane

          None.

          No problems with the airframe, the F-35 in operation, combat ready, and deployed overseas (Japan, South Korea, and the UK so far), and Israel has already successfully used the F-35I in combat, destroyed a Syrian S-300 SAM system and a slew of warehouses containing contraband Russian-made SAM radars and launchers. that had been staged for delivery to Hezbollah in Leganon, which plan was thwarted by the Israeli air attacks – happened last month, the Israelis only received the first F-35s in December.

          • Ken N

            link??

          • Patrick Bechet

            Don’t hold your breath.

          • Ron Snyder

            Source? The only rumour about the F-35 being used in combat by the Israel was from a speculative tweet by a French journalist. That information was picked up and copied by Russia Today and other similar news outlets. Zero reliable or authoritative information on this rumour being true.

          • Duane

            The Israelis destroyed the SAM, which was operated by the Iranians for the Syrians. The Iranian government issued public press releases bitterly complaining that the Russians punked them by “giving away our codes to the S-300 to the Israelis”. The Israelis took out the SAM and then bombed out all of the Iranian warehouses in Syria.

            The Israelis would never have challenged the S-300 with their fourth gens – they’d have lost their aircraft and crew and accomplished nothing. The Israelis obtained their first F-35s in December, and the air attacks on Syria were last month.

            Put two and two and two together, and you come up with six.

            Any other explanation is dumb, and just propaganda by F-35 haters. They are just as dumb as Baghdad Bob was in 2003, and the Russians were last week when they tried to pretend that most of our Tomahawks missed their targets, and that we didn’t do any significant damage because they could still use their runways (which are a complete waste as a target, as they can be repaired and put back in service in mere hours). They ignore, of course, that all 59 TLAMs did hit their targets, we destroyed half the Syrian fighters at the base, and that came to 20% of the entire Syrian fighter force destroyed in a single attack.

          • Ron Snyder

            So you have no proof, not even a single reliable source for your position. Just a twisted logic that heralds what you want to be true as fact. Fake News.

          • Duane

            I do – just read the public media releases by the Iranians, and the gazillions of media stories about the campaign of successful air bombing attacks in Syria by the Israelies.

            It’s all there – but you’re too lazy and stubborn to do ten seconds of Google searching.

          • Ron Snyder

            Iranians- there is a group you can trust on all things relating to Israel. So no, you can not offer a single reputable source. Your opinion does not make it a fact. Did Israel make any successful bombing attacks in Syria before getting the F-35? Why yes, yes they have.

          • Duane

            Here’s a hint for you. Iranians and ISIS never admit to any defeat at all, virtually never. When they do admit defeat, as in this case – you know that it cannot be denied. But what they did was point fingers at the Russians … as if the Russians would like to see their vaunted S-300s unmasked as totally defenseless against our F-35. Instead, the Russians just lie (like when they claimed that 2/3 of our Tomahawks missed their targets).

          • Oskar

            Fake commentor.

          • Ron Snyder

            Have you read the FY2017 DOT&E Report on the F-35?

          • Duane

            Yes – and its a pile of crap. Auditors don’t fly F-35s, they don’t go to war in them, their lives don’t depend on them. They only get paid to make findings, the more findings the more they get paid (or don’t get fired)..

            The guys and gals who fly the F-35, who command them, who maintain them, who command them, and whose very lives depend upon them absolutely assert without the slightest reservation that the F-35 is the greatest warbird ever created by humans, by a huge margin. The fourth gens aren’t at all in the same league that the F-35 dominates. They’re the single A minor leagues compared to MLB.

          • ron_snyder

            Laz has taught you well Grasshopper.

          • Duane

            Experience has taught me well. You must be an auditor, right? Don’t like being contradicted by the real world.

            One of the oldest sayings about auditors goes, “The definition of an auditor is they’re the guys who come in after the battle is over and bayonet the wounded.” Takes massive courage and skill and warfighting ability to do that.

          • Oskar

            Have you seen the 2017 Red Flag results?

          • Ron Snyder

            Puff PR pieces. What would have the results been without the F-22 working with the F-35? No talk of how the F-35 might handle high numbers of missiles (A-A and S-A) from near-peers.

          • Oskar

            LMAO!!!

            So you’re allergic to intelligence.

            Good to know.

          • Ron Snyder

            No, but at one point it talks about how the magical F-35 had a kill ratio of 15-1, then 20-1. How many missiles does the F-35 carry? I’ll wait until the F-35 has a real-world contest involving state of the art Russian radar and missiles.

          • Oskar

            Denial isn’t helping your case.

            When was the last time a USAF/USN/USMC fighter went into battle solo?

            What’s the score for your MiG’s and Su’s in the last 25 years?

            I won’t wait for you to get some credible facts.

            I suspect it will be years.

        • Oskar

          How’s that Sub-Par Hornet perform when facing double-digit SAM systems?

          Those cock-eyed wing pylons are a great way to increase the RCS….

    • Rocco

      You have no idea what your talking about!!

      • Marcd30319

        This is what happens when the staff of this news blog allows anyone with a Disqus account to post here. It is really irritating, and the justification for this fiasco is that opening up the message board will some how generate greater USNI membership. What a fool’s errand!

        In the Comments section of the print version of the Proceedings and Naval History, you have to supply your real name. Evem the online comments section for the Proceedings and Naval History require you to be a USNI member.

        But here on the USNI news blog, anyone with Disqus account can post anonymously here at the news blog. This lack of transparency is contrary to the open discussion that the Institute is all about. I am sure some USNI staffer who will take issue with this and tell me that I don;t know what I am talking about. After all, I have only been a USNI member since 1974.

  • The Plague

    I hope the build rate will be increased for the Ford class. It’s the most powerful carrier ever built and the carrier is still fundamental to naval power. More fundamental than it is nowadays fashionable to acknowledge.

  • Marjus Plaku

    Quite unfortunate that she will be the only ship with the proper and integrated DBR sensor suite. Kind of depressing that the Zumwalt class was first reduced to three hulls, then had their independent VSR package removed from the design, and now won’t even be fitted with the original long range and guided rounds intended for the AGS. It’s really upsetting when performance degrading modifications are suddenly implemented mid way though construction or commissioning due to budget concerns, without really addressing the threat/requirement which necessitated that capability in the first place. Nothing worse than a half assed kitted out front line battle system or warship. The next generation LHAs are still using rotating arrays, even if the array itself is new, I mean, come on, really? Those ships will be around for decades and are very important/vulnerable.Already hyper-sonic weapons are moving from the proof of concept and testing stage to limited operational capability on real world platforms and systems.

  • Ken N

    Probably a good idea to check your spelling before you call somebody stupid…

    • Rocco

      lol I caught that after I hit send but this site don’t allow you to edit. Still don’t take away his comments!!

      • Marcd30319

        One of the benefits of being a USNI member is you can edit your comments on this site. Something to consider, right?

        • muzzleloader

          Not to take anything away from USNI membership, but Disqus permits editing also.

          • Marcd30319

            Evidently Rocco is being victimized again, by Disqus. Sad.

  • Marcd30319

    I was talking about Disqus accounts in general and Mr. Robert Hotlzmann in particular, but NOT you, Rocco. I was agreeing with you about Mr. Robert Hotlzmann who definitely doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    Since when did being a member of a fine organization like the United States Naval Institute deserve such an response?

    I must remind everyone here that I and over 50,000 others pay their membership dues to the Naval Institute that pays for many things, including this news blog.

    “someone else’s porogative” my foot!

    Try re-reading my post and think before you post.

    • Rocco

      I red your post ! Now you at any point say as to who you were referring to as to who’s name was real or not?? No!! Don’t play games with me here I wasn’t born yesterday OK. How can you discern if Robert Holtzmann is who he said he is?Or why should you or anyone care!!! He said his comments & I found him to not know what he’s talking about. It seems we only agreed with that here. I don’t think I need you tell me to re-reed your post & think before I comment. Not that I was talking to you to begin with. So if we can’t talk about the topic at hand here instead of this stupid back & forth I have no time for this.

      • Marcd30319

        It’s called an aside, Rocco, agreeing with your comment about Mr. Robert Holtzmann’s posts and providing added context from my perspective.

        That is what my post was about, but I am not responsible for your misconstruing of the context and intent of that post.

        If you had any doubts about my post, you could have asked me to clarify. I would have been more than happy to do so.

        Instead you attacked me needlessly and falsely, slamming my longtime membership to the Institute in the process. Truly unfortunate and unnecessary.

        Clearly, you were not born yesterday, but you may want to think before you post.