Home » Aviation » USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Repair Period Triples in Length; Carrier Will be in Yard Until 2019


USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Repair Period Triples in Length; Carrier Will be in Yard Until 2019

Capt. Kyle P. Higgins, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), addresses the crew during an Aug. 18, 2018, all-hands call on the flight deck. Dwight D. Eisenhower is undergoing a planned incremental availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard during the maintenance phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan. US Navy photo.

Aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) will remain tied up in maintenance at Norfolk Naval Shipyard until early 2019, resulting in a maintenance availability about triple the expected six-month length.

Eisenhower is no stranger to overrun availabilities, after its last 14-month docked availability ran about 24 months. The carrier is the second oldest in the fleet at 41 years old – only outdone by lead ship USS Nimitz (CVN-68) at 43 years old – and has been among the hardest-run carriers in the fleet, contributing to its maintenance difficulties.

Navy officials would not elaborate on what specifically is causing the delay, but both the ship commanding officer and a Navy spokesman said the ship’s age is a factor.

In a Saturday message to the IKE community on Facebook, Commanding Officer Capt. Kyle Higgins wrote that “IKE is a 41-year-old dynamo. If you Google ‘IKE 2016 deployment’ you will see the incredible things we accomplished– some of you reading this were part of that deployment so you know the awesome power of Mighty IKE. But that came at a price. You can’t put a ship through so much without having equipment break and having to replace other parts. That’s true of any warship, even Mighty IKE.
“If we look at IKE as a classic car – pick your favorite, mine’s a ’58 Vette – and it has a lot of miles on it. So you take it to the shop and you know what needs to get done. But as happens on older cars, more things pop up. They all have to be taken care of so your car stays in the shop longer. You’re able to get some other work done on it at the same time – new upholstery, took care of some rusty areas – while the mechanics are working on the front end. Problem becomes the work takes even longer – there’s some rework, even more things are discovered that have to be addressed – and then you notice something else, and the list of repairs grows. This is the situation we’re in here on IKE: second- and third-order effects that we did not anticipate put us in a position where we need to requalify our Reactor Sailors for their watch stations in the plants.”

Hull Maintenance Technician Fireman Keriyate Lewis, from New Iberia, La., welds a metal brace aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) on Aug. 14. 2018. Dwight D. Eisenhower is undergoing a Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard during the maintenance phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP). US Navy photo.

Eisenhower entered its availability at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in August 2017 after a string of successful on-time maintenance periods at the yard and in the midst of some upgrades to pump and pipe shops and other key parts of the yard to address previous barriers to on-time ship deliveries. Still, despite the progress the yard had made, Eisenhower blew past its expected February 2018 delivery date and continues to experience new maintenance challenges as newly identified work pops up.

“The U.S. Navy is committed to sending to sea ships that are at a peak level of readiness in terms of manning, training and equipment. Anything less is unacceptable,” U.S. Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Dave Hecht told USNI News on Friday.
“In terms of maintenance of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, that is an extremely complex process, especially when it comes to vessels that have been in service for as long as USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. IKE’s maintenance is pressing forward with all expediency, and while delayed, we expect the ship and her crew to return to sea in the near future, fully capable to execute any mission handed to them.”

Higgins, while writing in his message that it would take several months to finish up the work on the ship and requalify some sailors, praised the crew for their hard work during the lengthy yard period. He also noted that the delay until early 2019 would provide some semblance of certainty for sailors and their families to make plans for the coming months.

With IKE stuck at the shipyard, USS George H.W. Bush has been marking time and awaiting its chance to get into the yard for maintenance. Bush has kept busy during the IKE delay, from hosting a French air wing to conduct carrier qualifications onboard the American ship to training in the Atlantic to hosting ceremonies like the standup of U.S. 2nd Fleet.

Still, the delay creates a headache for the East Coast carrier fleet in terms of operational availability: IKE is in the yard, Bush is waiting to get into the yard after finishing a seven-month deployment in August 2017, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is working up with its air wing for the first time since completing its mid-life Refueling and Complex Overhaul last year but will relocate to the West Coast – though the Navy has not said if the move will happen before its next deployment or upon return – USS George Washington (CVN-73) is currently in its RCOH, and new carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is conducting its post-shakedown availability at the Newport News Shipbuilding yard. That leaves just USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) on the East Coast, which is currently deployed to the North Atlantic. With IKE running so far behind schedule, it is unclear if Truman would have to conduct operational work during the “sustainment” phase of its Optimized Fleet Response Plan cycle – which includes maintenance, basic training, deployment and then sustainment, when the crew remains ready to surge naval presence around the world if called upon.

Hull Technician 2nd Class Luck Maguire welds a bracket in the aft collecting, holding and transfer tank aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in February 2018. US Navy photo.

IKE’s recent deployment history is an impressive one but likely contributes to the old ship being worn out and having repeated maintenance difficulties. The carrier deployed June 1, 2016, to the Middle East. By the time the carrier returned on Dec. 30, the carrier and its strike group had faced threats from Russian and Iranian naval forces and Iranian-backed forces in Yemen, conducted air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria, evacuated American personnel from an embassy in South Sudan, and performed maritime security operations in U.S. 5th and 6th Fleets.

Prior to its 24-month maintenance availability from 2013 to 2015, Eisenhower had deployed four times from 2008 to 2013 with just one maintenance availability, USNI News has reported, due to operational needs.

  • airider

    Nothing really new here. When you drive ’em hard they need more care and attention.

    What worries me is that ships force doesn’t have the skills they used to have to identify the issues ahead of time.

    Every yard period has growth due to the unforeseen and that’s usually built into the scope of the plan based on the history of the ship … what concerns me is that for an avail to grow by three times, the unforeseen has grown to be the overlooked issues that ships force and/or pre-avail assessors weren’t able to identify before the availability and put into the planning package.

    That’s the bigger issue IMHO … bottom line, document every issue, even if it doesn’t get done in the current avail, and leave it to leadership to weigh the risks of getting it done or not. If it doesn’t get done, make sure it’s on the list for the next avail.

    • Rocco

      The 1st 3 Nimitz class Carrier’s were built the old school way from the Keel up! The ship has to get cut up to pull large machinery out.
      That’s quite a young looking Skipper. Looks like he just graduated.

      • Secundius

        One report said that the Radar Antenna Mast is going to be replaced, while another claimed that the entire Island Superstructure is going to be replaced to look more like that of the “Gerald Ford”…

        • Rocco

          So to what advantages will replacing the island do besides coasting 1 million or 2? The new radar?

          • James

            1 or 2 million? You wish probably more like 20-50 million. All those electronics and connections.

          • Rocco

            Your right I was just throwing numbers out, maybe 100 million.

          • Secundius

            If I had to venture a guess, additional Deck Spacing of Parked Aircraft’s…

          • Rocco

            For what?? We can’t even fill the deck with 60 aircraft let alone 85-90 back in my day with 10 different aircraft types!!

          • Secundius

            What if they (US Navy) plans to increase the Wing Size of each carrier to 120 aircraft’s. But back in you’re day there was more that 10 aircraft types that consisted a Aircraft Carrier Wing. What’s it Now?/! Maybe 7, doing the job of 10…

          • Rocco

            120 would be way too much! 100 would be max & still have breathing room. Depending on what Ship. The Ford yes as I’m told the expansion in the rear of the ship at hangar level is for aircraft storage.
            Back in my day yes over 10 different aircraft types, depending on what Ship I was on through the 10 yrs I served.

          • Secundius

            Depends on How Far the Ships Modifications go! I know about the Superstructure Island and the Radar/Communication Antenna Mast. Not sure about the rest of the ship, but I’ve heard recently that a PAWDS (Plasma-Arc Waste Destruction System) might be installed too…

          • Rocco

            Is that some sort of lazer?

          • Secundius

            The company is called PyroGenesis Canada, Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. It’s suppose to Flash Vaporize waste products, such as Paper, Plastics, Food (no more MidRats), Oily Rags, Waste Oil and Shredded/Milled Metals…

            ( http : // www . pyrogenesis . com / products – services / plasma – waste – processes / pawds – marine / )

          • Secundius

            By adding more “Square Footage” to the Flight Deck in order to be able to Park more planes…

    • Epictetus

      Issues that triple the length of a PIA are not the result of inadequate inspections by ship’s force. I have no idea of the specifics of IKE, but I’ve plenty of CVN experience, and the biggest offenders of critical path and growth work are rudders, shafting, tanks, and catapults. Those are items that, per the PMS requirements, are only inspected DURING the yard period, so any negative findings become growth work. Old ships like IKE have far more of these sorts of issues, for obvious reasons. Ship’s force inspection items are trivial in comparison. The PIA didn’t triple because a JO didn’t document deck corrosion or a pump/motor needs replacement.

      • airider

        I see what you’re saying but what you are doing is basically confirming that we know what causes these avails to go long, and yet still haven’t learned any lessons that would cause us to change how we do things.

        • tim

          … my old factoring system has always benefited me. My gut (others may call it experience) tells me to x by 2, 3 or 4 … and each time I felt outside pressure to not do so, regretted it later … but usually had a memo handy that I could easily have said: told you so. While superficially not scientific, there is an underlying acknowledgement that one realizes that one does not know everything and that the more complex a system is, the more difficult it is to forecast it. Think of it as dynamic forecasting and a formula with many variables. Each variable has a different likelihood of happening … but that is not how this is being calculated … and that is why they have delays … and why I will do better with my gutt factor. Later just does not do for the Navy when they make these plans. Bless their hearts!

      • onehstrybuff

        You left out valve work, a huge growth work item on the nuke side….

      • steve

        Looks like the carrier fleet is aging.
        Need for more repair yards. Repair times are geting longer, and once you get behind you never catch up.

        • Rocco

          Dude this thread is 2 months old!! However I do agree with you!! My only concern is the new Ford class carriers is not gonna be anything close to the Nimitz class. When the Nimitz came on line we had 10 aircraft types. Today 4-5 !! Makes no sense to have Ships this big with 60 aircraft aboard!

  • PolicyWonk

    This is why we need to build a few more aviation-centric LHA-6/America class ships: we could fly F-35B’s, and V-22’s modified for AEW (using the Brit’s nifty, lightweight kit), and refueling. Set ’em up to fulfill the duties of a CVL, and send ’em to the less volatile parts of the world to take the strain off the CVN’s.

    • Rocco

      Agreed….but make the bigger to 900′ !

      • PolicyWonk

        Just curious – what design changes are you thinking of (or advantages) that an addition 50 feet (+/-) will garner?

        • Rocco

          Well for starters you have 900′ of flight deck. This gives extra room for aircraft & crash equipment, not to mention longer launch run. The hull obviously has to be stretched which internally can make the hangar bay bigger. Also more magazine space & fuel. The extra weight is gonna nessecitate the need for speed so 2 more turbine engines can be installed along with 2 prop shafts. The list goes on.

          • PolicyWonk

            Fair enough. I wasn’t looking for the USN to build a pure CVL. I was looking at using the existing sea frames/design, which are (theoretically) optimized for aviation-related activities. If/when no longer needed for CVL-type activities, just shift the aircraft types and move the contingent of Marines back aboard…

          • Rocco

            OK…. Even with a combo hull with well deck the extra 46 feet will come in handy.

          • El_Sid

            LHA-6 is optimised for the “old” Panama Canal – in particular the beam is at the old Panamax limit. I’d guess that if they were to have a second bite of the cherry they wouldn’t do a clean-sheet redesign for a CVL. They’d keep the basic hull the same but put a wider deck on top, in the same way as QNLZ has a deck that looks “disproportionately” big. That extra deck space makes a huge difference to sortie generation, and reduces the crew needed to be moving aircraft around the deck.

            Maybe some extra length on the bow would allow a skijump whilst keeping the same area of flat deck.

          • Secundius

            New Panamax Canal Locks opened in 2014 to accommodate ships up to 1,400-feet by 180-feet by 60-feet. Though the Waterline width of the “Nimitz” is ~134-feet, you still have to contend with the Tapered Hull of the Nimitz to the Flight Decks ~252-feet…

          • Rocco

            Agreed the beam on LHA/D is 106 plenty of room.

          • PolicyWonk

            Well, if you look at the old Essex class CV’s, they were an enduring design and had sufficient room for growth to add an angled flight deck. And where I get your point w/r/t the LHA-6’s beam, my proposal to use them as CVL’s was slanted to more of a temporary solution than a permanent one.

            In sending an LHA-6 to less volatile parts of the world, the idea is more about showing the flag than generating extra sorties. But even if it did end up in a fight, with the advent of smart munitions, an LHA-6 could deliver a bigger punch than a Nimitz could when it was first commissioned.

          • El_Sid

            Well – I’d say that just by calling them CVLs then by definition you’re saying that their primary role is fixed-wing aviation, albeit with rotary as an important secondary role, whereas the LHAs are explicitly about rotary with fixed-wing as not quite an afterthought, but almost.

            That change in role is not temporary – the F-35B, the demands on the CVNs and the global situation makes it inevitable, just look at Essex being the first “carrier” in the Gulf since March. So if you’re optimising them more for fixed-wing use, the first thing that comes to mind is a ski-jump to increase takeoff weights, and rolling landings to increase bring-back weights. That pushes you towards a wider deck with a parking area alongside a runway (think 2/3 of the QNLZ deck). To my mind the only real question is whether the current hull can take such a deck, but I think by LHA-16 or so some of them will start looking like mini-QNLZes.

            If you only have a few planes, then you need to work them hard, so sortie generation is arguably more important. Given the larger size of aircraft, the LHAs are not much easier to work than the Invincibles, and it was hard work keeping them running when there was a reasonable number of fixed-wing aircraft on board. A parking strip would make a big difference.

          • Rocco

            Not gonna work with a ski ramp on the LHA! It would add considerable amount of weight that the power plants can’t already push the ship past 25 knots!! Not to mention wasted room for Helo extraction.

          • Secundius

            At least not with a Tricycle Landing Gear Turboprop. Any greater than 7.5* and the Propeller Bladed will Dig into the Ramp. As the Nose Gear hits the Ramp, the Nose Gear will Dip causing the Propeller Blades to dip down too. And make contact with the Ramp…

          • Rocco

            That’s not what I was talking about! A straight deck LHA with a ramp wouldn’t have a turbo prop aircraft anyway.

          • Secundius

            What if they start production for an ov-10 Bronco replacement…

          • Rocco

            I know there already is one. But what’s the relevance?

          • Secundius

            IF the USMC decides to use the Beechcraft AT-6 “Wolverine” instead! There going to have to Reduce the Normal Take-Off Distance on Land of ~2,900-feet, to a LHA’s/LHD’s Flight Decks ~820-feet, without the aid of a Catapult…

          • Secundius

            “Fast Fleet Replenishment Ship”! The “Bob Hope” class is ~951-feet long and was an ~106-foot beam. Could easily pass through the Panama Canal. And probably be Built in 1/3rd the time of an Aircraft Carrier. Already has a Parking Deck which could be converted into a Hanger Deck and place a Flight Deck where the Weather Deck is…

          • Rocco

            Is this the picture you posted?

          • Secundius

            What Picture? I didn’t post one for that particular comment…

          • Rocco

            Never mind. It was a late night lol

          • Rocco

            When putting an angle deck on an LHA there’s gonna be overhang from underneath especially the port side to support it. This starts at about hangar deck level like on the Essex class. The best thing to do is make the ship longer at 900′.

      • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

        how about 1100′ and say 2 reactors?

        • Rocco

          Ford class is already built at this level

          • kpb80

            and is tied to the pier right now with a bunch of non-combat ready systems.

        • Secundius

          “Eisenhower” already has Two Reactors! To replace them, would require at least two years in a Drydock. Cutting a hole in the Side of the Carrier just to gain access to the Nuclear Reactors. And that doesn’t include the extra 18 months to two years required to lengthen the Flight Deck. Because both operations are independent of each other and require different Safety Messures to be preformed…

    • El_Sid

      Crowsnest for V-22 would make a lot of sense, but I suggest they wouldn’t use the Thales one based on Searchwater although it exists and is about to come into service. A big part of the reason for choosing that was cash, and the fact that it was an evolution of what was already on the Sea Kings (which finally left FAA service just the other day as it happens). I suspect that the USN would probably choose the Lockheed version that came second in the RN competition, and possibly replace the cheaper Israeli radar with a derivative of the F-35 radar as was originally planned.

      OTOH, you’ve got to look at what DARPA is doing with stuff like TALONS for AEW from smaller ships away from E-2/3 coverage.

      • Secundius

        One problem with “Crowsnest” on the MV-22! It would have to be Attached to the Rear Cargo Ramp/Hatch. Which places extra Stress to the Ramp/Hatch System. The Leonardo 7500E “Seaspray” would be better, because it could easily fit the Centerline Ventral Hatch on the MV-22. And Raised and Lowered through the Hatch with relative ease…

  • Duane

    Useful reminder that extending the service lives of old ships is both expensive and uncertain in results. Not a quick and dirty way to increase the EFFECTIVE fleet size.

  • This is a reminder that the carriers were not originally designed to be run for 50+ years. The Navy should probably look into the benefits of retiring carriers after 40 years and using the money saved on maintenance to build one every 3-4 years instead of 4-5 years (which would in turn reduce build costs).

    • Rocco

      Not in agreement

    • USNVO

      Typically, it costs roughly $1B/year to operate a CVN. Of course that varies quite a lot based on what year you are talking about and the mid-life refueling is the biggest expense and significantly exceeds that. But I am not sure shortening the service life will save as much money as you think it will, especially as the really big expense has already been made.

    • wilkinak

      I’m pretty sure the advertised service life of a CVN is 50 years. That’s one of the reason’s Enterprise wasn’t decomm’ed until after she hit 50. The Navy was bound & determined to get 50 years out of her one way or another. The last years may be spent in the shipyards, but they aren’t going to be set aside early.

      • Rocco

        You are correct! On paper! Though most won’t make it close to that mark! The Big E didn’t go to 50 yrs just to say she did it! It’s because she was pushed to staying in service because of available carriers!

      • The advertised service life now is 50 years – but when Enterprise and Nimitz were laid down they were intended for 30-35 years.

  • Curtis Conway

    This is what happens when there is little money for maintenance, operations continue to stress/stretch deployments, and procurement of replacements falls behind. As the USMC F-35B Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters come on line, the MAGTF can take off some of the pressure in less stressful AORs. If the Amphibs ever get their Enterprise Radar upgrades, and Mk41 VLS goes on board, then we will have much more flexibility. I wonder is an LPD-17 Flt I/II/III Combat Systems Engineering Development & Test Site exists?

    • Rocco

      I saw an advertisement and in navy proceedings of what you just described

  • Ed L

    Need to say it again. The military needs to go on a war footing and build smaller 800 feet conventional power Carrier

    • Rocco

      Too small 900′ !! The WASP/ America class is already longer at 844′, which is small as well & should be 900′

      • Ed L

        Naw that’s not too short. The Ark Royal was 800 ft carry the Phantom (big jet) bet an 800 foot conventional aircraft carrier could easily manage an air wing of 60 aircraft. A Nimitz Class Carrier can carry over 90 aircraft. 120 if you load it up with plastic bugs

        • Rocco

          You have no idea what your talking about!! The Phantom was too big to begin with but the British made it work because nothing else was available a short notice!! FYI the Phantoms had to be heavily modified!! I served on 3 carriers including the Nimitz!!

          • Ed L

            When I was in was usually in a group that played the bad guys We learned how to defeat carriers. They said the Kaiser built carriers wouldn’t work either. But they did the job. Or you can forget the Carriers and go to Cruisers, destroyers, Frigates and submarine navy. Let see a modern day Aircraft Carrier defeat 100 anti ship missiles attack in the South China Sea

          • Rocco

            When you were in What??? The Kremlin’s Navy?? Looks like your carriers are still doing what job? Oh wait India will take it for scrap metal. Lol.lets see anything defeat 100 anti ship anything!!

          • Ed L

            Calm down. It’s just a learned opinion that comes from years of working with Submariners, Aviators, SEALs, Marines, SWO’s. In that unit we did out of the box thinking. Our NDA’s very unusual. There was a study done in the 80’s on various deck loads an Nimitz Class Aircraft Carrier 120 f/a-18 was one of the deckloads. Another one was 50 Naval Aircraft and a mixed detachment of US Army Helicopters

          • Rocco

            Copy

          • Ed L

            Of course it was the article I read on the phantom mod was 4 pages long

          • Rocco

            Do that doesn’t substantiate any !!! 800′ is too short!!

        • The 90+ plane airwings for the Nimitz involved lots of A-6, A-7, and S-3 – all of which were substantially smaller than an F/A-18E/F or F-35. Even the F-4 was slightly smaller than the modern fighters. Even including an F-14 squadron, the five fighter and attack squadrons of a late 1970’s airwing weighed just 8% more than the four Super Hornet squadrons of today. While there is some spare room on the carriers now, that will soon be taken up by the MQ-25.

          • Ed L

            Bet the older carrier pilots miss the range of the F-14 and those Phoenix missiles

        • Secundius

          As I recall the British Phantom used Turbofans, where the US Phantoms used Turbojets. The British Phantom with Turbofans could take-off with a Catapult assist in as little as 737-feet. The US Turbojet couldn’t…

          • Rocco

            Yes an that was pushing it . The UKs phantom s had a different main gear that jacked up the jet to get better thrust out of the hole & angle of attack! The Later tiger Phantom used the turbo jet J -79 refurbished J model.

    • JJ

      Agreed. It is intriguing to think of building a carrier fleet consisting of 900 foot ships, perhaps conventionally powered. Costs to build, commission, rehab, etc, go way down, and we have a larger fleet that won’t leave a single CVN alone in an ocean.

      • Secundius

        Only problem being is that the US Navy can Ask, Demand and/or Beg for a Conventional Powered Medium Aircraft Carrier until He|| Freezes Over. But with No One in the US. Hse.of Rep. (i.e. The Exchequer of the Purse) listening to the Cry. It will NEVER be funded…

  • disqus_CbFK3MPhJu

    The article states that is more the shipyards problem, not the ship.

    they are upgrading various shops to better handle the rehab.

  • Nick

    ” USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is conducting its post-shakedown availability at the Newport News Shipbuilding yard”

    Post-shakedown availability, the Navy Admirals playing games with words again, after the year long interim post-shakedown (encountering casualties) Ford returned July 15, 2018 to NNS for its year long planned Phase 2 build for installation of its combat systems etc.(Phase 2 build invented by Navy to avoid busting Congress mandated cost cap of $12.9B then year $, actual likely $15B+, figure never disclosed)

    Included in Phase 2 build was the installation of the remaining 10 of its 11 weapons elevators, these new tech elevators with magnetic levitation using electromagnets to float over a guideway are not working, Navy have had to award new contract September 17, 2018 for a test “hybrid unit” to be configurable as an upper or lower stage elevator and will require five years of land testing, presuming “hybrid” means they are reverting back to fitting the tried and true tech, “cables”.

    Work is expected to be completed by September 2023 so assuming on completion successful outcome Navy will have award contract to for eleven “modified” AWEs to install on Ford causing further delays for IOC, concurrency strikes again.

    • Rocco

      Source of what you just described

      • Nick

        InsideDefense Justin Katz September 17 – Navy buying hybrid advanced weapons elevator for land testing

        • Rocco

          Thanks

  • Nada Blue

    Didn’t this ship go through a 23 month long maintenance period that ended in September 2015? Wasn’t that long maintenance period supposed to keep the ship going for another decade? It went on one deployment and broke again. Two years in the yards, one 6-7 month deployment, and now looking like a year and a half minimum back in the yards. Doesn’t seem to me like it’s being any help to the Navy. Just puts more stress on the other carriers trying to compensate and perhaps forgoing needed maintenance of their own. It’s a problem that will snowball and create problems for the rest of the fleet.

    • Epictetus

      No availability is ever meant to keep a ship running for another 10 years. A docking availability, normally called a DPIA vice PIA (D is for “docking” and the PIA is “planned incremental availability”) is once every 10 years(ish), but in between those DPIAs are normally at least two PIAs. Bottom line, this PIA is per the standard maintenance plan. Everything else you said about the impact is correct – the other ships pick up the slack, they wear down faster and have more problems further down the road, etc, etc.

    • Rocco

      Agreed

    • Secundius

      It did AS IS and with update Electronics. Unfortunately the “Gerald Ford” is having a Tough Time getting off the “Binnacle List” as an Active Naval Vessel. And without a suitable replacement in Near Term Sight, that leave the “Nimitz” class to perform Double Duty as a “Gerald Ford” Stand In Replacement. I suspect that the Long Maintenance Time might include a Complete Reactor Replacement. Which would require Cutting It Out of the Hull, which could take up to 2-years to accomplish…

    • Secundius

      As I recall the Vessel had ALL it’s ~1,600-miles of Wiring. Computers and it’s Electronics replaced…

  • Chesapeakeguy

    I still think the Navy ought to be examining building conventionally powered carriers again. They are cheaper and quicker to construct, and cheaper and quicker to overhaul. They have as much flight deck and hangar space as the nukes. The country did just fine with them for the generation following the Korean War. No one argues the superiority of nuke carriers, but the costs are wat they are. Of course, seeing ho our present force has air wings that don’t possess many planes, how we would outfit any sized carrier going forward will remain a problem. But if this country ever gets serious again about utilizing our carriers to their fullest, then maybe these other thing scan be looked at then.

  • John Cordle

    It may be lost to history, but IKE and a few other surface combatants were part of an OFRP “test” in 2012-13 that was essentially 2 x 7 month deployments separated by about a 4 month return over the holidays. It included a “no personnel turnover”policy and essentially meant 2 years of minimal maintenance. This should be a learning point for the new “dynamic force deployment” policy. Not saying it is a bad policy, but decisions involving CVN deployments have repercussions that can last for several years, longer than corporate memory.

  • Siegfried Macie

    I served aboard Ike late 77-79 with VA65, we had a port of call in Haifa Israel, as we were approaching Israel we were net by a couple Israeli fast gun boats, that were to escort us, the next thing I knew the fan tail started to cavitate and Ike began to build speed, we were in a full fledged race with the escort boats who at 1st were leading then we caught and passed them, we later had President Jimmy Carter, Prime Ministers Menachem Begin, and Anwar Sadat on board for a fire power demonstration this was during the mid-east peace negotiations

    • Rocco

      Kudos I was there as well aboard the Fid, VF-74.