ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS GERALD R. FORD, IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN – When new commanding officer Capt. Paul Lanzilotta wakes up each morning on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), his long and diverse to-do list highlights the balance the aircraft carrier is trying to strike as it wraps up its new-ship testing and prepares for shock trials this summer, while also carrying out other duties as the only available aircraft carrier on the East Coast. Read More
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) returned to port Sunday after its latest at-sea testing period with mixed results. While the carrier operated with the most complex air wing to date, the ship’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) suffered a failure that prevented the carrier from launching planes for five days, the Navy announced in a Sunday statement. Read More
If the Navy has spent the last three years taking USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) from a construction project to a platform that can launch and recover jets, the service is now taking steps to turn the ship into one that can fight in maritime combat. Read More
Maintenance teams working on aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are accomplishing about 30 percent more work than planned during in-ports periods between underway testing, helping to reduce the amount of time the carrier will likely spend in the repair yard after full-ship shock trials next year and becoming a fully available fleet asset. Read More
New aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) completed its Flight Deck Certification (FDC) and Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) Certification on March 20, following two days of intense flight deck operations to prove the ship and crew’s capabilities. Read More
A previous version of this post misstated the Navy’s reliability requirement for the Advanced Arresting Gear. The requirement is 16,500 recoveries before an operational failure.
ABOARD AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS GERALD R. FORD – The crew of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are slowly expanding the aircraft they can launch and recover from the next-generation aircraft carrier, Ford’s air boss told USNI News last week. Read More
CAPITOL HILL – The Navy’s acquisition chief said the weapons elevators on USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) will be built and installed by the time the ship comes out of its ongoing post-shakedown availability, but he may launch an independent review team to look at the long-term sustainability and reliability of the elevators. Read More
USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.
ABOARD USS GERALD R. FORD – Saturday’s commissioning of aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was a celebration of the end of a long and at-times hard road to bring the warship and its many new technologies to the fleet – a path the Navy may not choose to take again. Read More
This post has been updated to include a comment from Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley.
President Donald Trump wants the new Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers to use older steam catapults to launch aircraft rather than the new electromagnetic launch system that the Navy has been developing for more than a decade. Read More