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U.S. Super Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford Is Delivered Without Elevators To Lift Bombs


U.S. Super Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford Is Delivered Without Elevators To Lift Bombs

USS Gerald R. Ford Source: U.S. Navy

The most expensive warship of all time, US Navy’s Gerald R. Ford, was delivered without elevators needed to lift bombs from below deck magazines to load on fighter jets, among other problems.

The $13 billion aircraft carrier, in addition to having problems with the 11 elevators for the ship, built by Huntingon Ingalls Industries Inc., also has issues with two other core systems. The warship’s electromagnetic system to launch planes and the arresting gear to catch them when they land are also heavily flawed.

The Advanced Weapons Elevators, which are moved by magnets rather than cables, were supposed to be installed by the vessel’s original delivery date in May 2017. The final installation, though, was delayed due to problems, including four instances of unsafe “uncommanded movements” ever since 2015, according to the Navy, cited by Bloomberg.

In August, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters that progress was being made on the problems with the two other core systems, however the elevators were their “Achilles heel.”

Shelby Oakley, a director with the U.S. Government Accountability Office who monitors Navy shipbuilding said that the elevator system is “just another example of the Navy pushing technology risk into design and construction — without fully demonstrating it.”

These problems also raise questions regarding the Navy’s intention of bundling the third and fourth carriers in the $58 billion Ford class into one contract. This is part of the US Navy’s push to increase its 284-ship fleet to 355 by the mid-2030s.

The Navy was given permission by the Congress to unite the two warships into one contract in this year’s defense spending and policy bills despite the unresolved technical issues and the lack of a Navy estimate so far of how much money it would save the service. As of November 6th, Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan continues to review the contracting plan.

The Navy claims that the Gerald R. Ford will be fully combat-capable by July 2019, including elevators. July 2019 is also the end of its current 12-month pier-side shakedown period in Virginia.

In a July 6th memo to Pentagon acquisition head Ellen Lord, Navy weapons buyer James Geurts cited what he called “considerable progress” on the Ford, including on the elevators.

Earlier, in May, the Navy requested a further increase of the Ford’s cost cap by $120 million, in part to fix elevator issues “to preclude any effect on the safety of the ship and personnel.”

Bloomberg cited Beci Brenton, a spokeswoman for Newport News, Virginia-based Huntington Ingalls, who said “all the elevators are installed.” She said the weapons elevator is among “the most advanced technologies being incorporated into” the carrier and “its completion has been delayed due to a number of first-in-class issues,” Brenton said.

“We are committed to working through the remaining technical challenges,” she claimed.

A spokesman for the Naval Sea Systems Command, William Couch said that the elevators are “in varying levels of construction and testing.”

According to him all 11 “should have been completed and delivered with the ship delivery.”

The elevators were advertised as the “technology of tomorrow” as far back as in 2010.

“In the not-too-distant future the Advanced Weapons Elevator will be lifting bombs to the flight deck of a new aircraft carrier,” the narrator said. “If it survives the rigors of Navy life, someday we might all be passengers on elevators powered like this one.”

Doug Ridenour, president of Federal Equipment Co., a subcontractor of Huntington Ingalls, said that the elevator’s key technologies “have been consistently demonstrated for years” in a test unit in the company’s plant and that all software or programming-related issues have been solved.

But “shipboard integration involves many other technology insertions not controlled by” his company, he said.

It appears that the most expensive warship of all time shares several characteristics of the most expensive defense project – the F-35 fighter jet. Both sophisticated technologies appear to be plagued by numerous problems and have been advertised as “combat-ready” much earlier than they should have been. They also share the common trait of constantly requiring more funding and becoming even more expensive.



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  • Drogba

    Just a big sitting Duck,no match for Russians technology should they ever decide to stupidly use it in battle.The goyim need to wake up in the zionist West Fakeland,no more wars for israhell.

    • Gerald R. Ford will probably sink himself. Just imagine single bomb on the lift which someties “moves in undesired direction”.
      But on aircraft lift you have dozens of bombs with average weight 500 kg each.
      Just imagine 10tons of high explosives falling down instead of going up due to some “minor” software bug.

      • Morehungrythanever

        You are dreaming. The comment is ridiculous

    • Selbstdenker

      China knows better, how to build unsinkable aircraft carriers… :-)

  • AlexanderAmproz

    The US don’t have brain’s, but Money !

    The Russians don’t have Money, but Brains !

    • Can not wait until first Americans sit on their revolutionary magnetic lift. What could possibly go wrong lol.

    • Promitheas Apollonious

      when you don’t have the brains and the working skilled force, money alone is not enough you are right.

  • Well, I remember when $6.5 billion aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush was launched for the first time just to find out, that the “modern” vacuum toilet system is flawed and sailors were shitting on the first voyage literally everywhere.

    If you think that Gerald R. Ford is any better, you are wrong. Because this ship is besides the problem with missing bomb lifts political correct and gender ballanced, it has only sitting toilets design. Those toilets are bigger and more complex then urinals and there is not enough of them on the ship and there is no enough technicians to keep them all clean and working.

    But it is hardly a surprise as the new super-duper US carrier was designed by the same idiots who designed previous one…

    • northerntruthseeker .

      And… the so called new launching system using magnetic rail technology is a massive failure… There has been talk that they may have to mothball that system and go back to the old steam powered catapult system.

      • Selbstdenker

        and it does not cover partial system outages, e.g. no electricity to the magnetic system. Hence, no reloading of bombers possible before electricity to the system is restored. One would use an electrical driven mechanic cable system, which can be wound by hand if electricity fails to keep it in operation, but hey, it’s the 21st century. No need for such eventualities.

  • Merijn

    You don’t need Elevators for Bombs in an Aircraft-Carrier…. Floating Tin-Cans with Sharkfood is what they are…they will be used for the warming-up a little Target-Practising for any upcoming War..You first take out their Fleet…their Pride & Joy…. the Oceans are Deep & Them Sharks Hungry….

    • Morehungrythanever

      I am pretty sure the Japanese said something along those same lines.

      • Merijn

        No that was the Deep State…they said: Let the Japs Bomb Pearl Harbor and the American Sheeple will be Happy to Fight…

  • Promitheas Apollonious

    when your work force and military in their majority are chosen from this pool of hybrids, the results with the air carrier not sinking on its virgin sail, it is a miracle and a very good result, if you ask me. Now I know this is hard but after watching this video think what off springs this geniusness are producing.


    • beypuutyina

      i can find 100x more videos about stupidity of ruskies. btw., greeks are also extremly stupid people. 5% of you are OK, but the rest ….

      • Promitheas Apollonious

        you ca not find your ass from second base so good luck with your claims.

        • beypuutyina

          hey elladian! you lost your language, your culture. everyhing is turkisz the gyros, greek coffee, meal, food, habits, everything turkish,. so do not be so proud!

  • Jesus

    That is why the introduction of unproven exotic technologies from a practical standpoint, become the Achilles heel for these expensive weapon systems.

  • Garga

    The final installation, though, was delayed due to

    problems, including four instances of unsafe

    “uncommanded movements” ever since

    Trump was right afterall, their weapons are so smart, they have a mind of their own.

    Every new toy has problems, with time and money most of them get solved, although new toys usually haven’t got so many issues.

    I’d say it’s good. It means bombing of unarmed civilians in faraway lands are not so efficient because of these elevators and launch mechanism and when they finally manage to load and dispatch the planes, hopefully the arresting mechanism punishes them when they return from heroically murdering the defenceless.

    Every one man, woman and child NOT getting killed because of those problems is a blessing. I know I won’t complain.

  • World_Eye


  • Peter Moy

    No elevators? No problem! Just use good, old-fashioned muscle power you boys and girls of this gigantic federal jobs program. Let’s see, one 500 pound bomb needs about six to eight bluejackets and about the same for an air-to-air missile. Do the fuzzy math you geniuses. Plus exercise is good for the soul. Faulty aircraft launching equipment? Just requisition some vertical take-off Harriers (if they can still fly).

  • H Eccles

    ‘The $13 billion aircraft carrier…’

    someone is getting taken to the cleaners…

  • Barba_Papa

    I’m more then usually confident that it will be fixed through the tried and tested method of throwing more money at the problem. Something at which the Pentagon has become, well, maybe not good at, but at least very well accustomed too.

  • beypuutyina

    This article is a big lie.

    Moreover, it is childish, foolish, laughable when rusky criticize anothe carreer, beacuse russian were never able to develope such category. they wanted, but the industrial level was always too low. we can see now wuth frigattes :DDD

    sou ruskie haters, enviouses, yanjks will sove the problems and will have a perfect weapon. but you, you will ahbve only naughty ass. you will have always nothing. as usual in your history.

    first find money to buy su paks and armatas, but maybe better modern clothes, equipment for ALL soldiers, not only for 10% of army.