The U.S. Navy seems to have a recurring problem with newer ships coming off the assembly line: none of them work the way they were designed to.
From the catapults of the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Zumwalt-class of futuristic guided-missile destroyers, the recurring theme seems to be “overdue and over-budget” when it comes to delays and performance woes.
The American shipbuilding industry was not always so shoddy- much like the sturdy American homes of olde, the vessels created at U.S. shipyards once served as beacons of craftsmanship, only to later give way around the same time that the housing industry seemed enamored with flimsy “McMansions.”
The Navy often blames the contractors, who in turn blame the Navy. In short, the whole military-industrial contracting system is so fundamentally broken, it serves as an endless cycle of blame, cost overruns, and time delays.
Here are some examples of ships that have missed the mark right out of the harbor:
USS Gerald R. Ford
The newest aircraft carrier around, the USS Ford is a design departure unseen since the 1970s. Unfortunately, the ship has been plagued with problems since it first departed the Huntington Ingalls Industries shipyard.
Costing around $13 billion, the warship is effectively unable to perform as an aircraft carrier, thanks to a temperamental Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), and ammo elevators that only function some of the time. (end of excerpt)
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