CAPITOL HILL --- Unforeseen problems in repairing USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) will push delivery of the carrier back to the fleet by three months, into October, Navy officials told a House Armed Services Committee panel on Tuesday.
The initial 12-month post-shakedown availability (PSA) was designed to fix any problems that arose during the carrier’s first at-sea period, when the crew works the ship hard to help identify any problems in construction, as well as to tackle any work that the Navy and shipbuilder agreed to bump from the construction period to PSA. The carrier had planned to conduct a one-year PSA, then work up with its crew and deploy in 2021.
The new delay is due to more time needed to repair Ford’s nuclear propulsion system and Advanced Weapons Elevators, Navy acquisition chief James Geurts told the HASC’s seapower and projection forces subcommittee.
“All three of those causal factors – making the adjustments to the nuclear power plant that we noted during sea trials, fitting in all of the post-shakedown availability workload and finishing up the elevators – they’re all trending about the same time,” he told the committee. “So, October right now is our best estimate. The fleet has been notified of that. They’re working that into their train-up cycle afterward.” (end of excerpt)
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