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Newest US Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford Declared Incapable

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The onboard systems of the most expensive ship in the world, the Gerald R. Ford, were condemned as unserviceable for combat operations.

Newest US Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford Declared Incapable

Photo: US Navy

The Pentagon has ordered an independent review of the most expensive ship in the world, the Gerald R. Ford new generation’s nuclear aircraft carrier. During tests, the onboard vehicle systems were condemned as unserviceable for combat operations, Bloomberg reported on Monday.

Identified problems were outlined in the letter of US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Frank Kendall, addressed to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus and obtained by media. “With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly premature to include so many unproven technologies on the vessel”, Kendall wrote.

The building of the head carrier of the new series ‘Gerald Ford’ was started in Newport in 2009. The vessel was launched four years later. It is considered the most expensive ship in the world – 13 billion dollars were spent on its development and construction.

The aircraft carrier was created as an improved version of the Nimitz ships with a reduced number of crew by automating and an increased reactor life. A number of innovations was applied on the Gerald R. Ford, including mass drivers, which replaced steam-driven catapults, turboelectric arrester gears, and a reduced-size superstructure shifted back. The ship should carry 90 aircraft and helicopters for various purposes, including a deck-based variant of the F-35.

In July, it was reported that the transfer of the aircraft carrier to the fleet is delayed until 2017 due to serious problems, identified during testing. According to the memo of Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, Michael Gilmore, the vessel does not meet the set parameters on four key areas: launching and recovering aircraft, moving onboard munitions, conducting air traffic control and ship’s self-defense.

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