2019 started with a surprise in the Navy budget request: the service needed to buy and test unmanned surface vehicles immediately to reach its ultimate goals for the surface force, and it was willing to sacrifice almost anything – including sidelining an aircraft carrier – to free up the funds to do so. Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The secretary of the Navy said a congressional cost cap on the first Ford-class aircraft carrier led to bad decisions that are reverberating today, and he hopes smarter discussions around cost, risk and requirements will be had for future ship classes such as the upcoming frigate program. Read More
Only one of the Navy’s 18 dry docks used for maintaining the nuclear-powered carrier fleet can support a Ford-class carrier, Navy officials told USNI News.
This post has been updated with additional information from the Navy. The service has one aircraft carrier able to deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72).
Currently, the Navy only has one aircraft carrier — either Ford-class or Nimitz-class — that can support the service’s most advanced fighters for a full deployment, service officials told USNI News on Thursday. Read More
CAPITOL HILL – The Navy’s newest aircraft carriers are being delivered without the capability to deploy with the service’s most advanced fighters, a situation lawmakers call unacceptable. Read More
When USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) leaves Newport News Shipbuilding in mid-October, only some of its Advanced Weapons Elevators will be usable as the Navy continues to struggle in making the ship deployable, Navy acquisition chief James Geurts said Wednesday.
President Donald Trump again called to install steam catapults on future aircraft carriers, in a move experts say would cost billions of dollars and reduce the capital ships’ capabilities. 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.