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US Navy’s Newest Aircraft Carrier Is Unable To Employ F-35s

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US Navy's Newest Aircraft Carrier Is Unable To Employ F-35s

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The US Navy’s newest Ford-class aircraft carriers to be blocked by US Congress, unless they can deploy F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee included in its Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act mark language a prohibition for the Navy to accept delivery of its next Ford-class carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), unless the carrier can deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, USNI cited a committee staffer on June 3rd.

The text itself is the following:

“Ford Class Aircraft Carrier Support for F-35C Aircraft

This section would require the Secretary of the Navy to ensure that the aircraft carrier to be designated CVN-79 is capable of deploying with the F-35 prior to accepting delivery.”

CVN-79 is the second Ford-class aircraft carrier expected to be delivered by the end of 2019, the USS John F. Kennedy.

This is further made difficult by the subcommittee also requiring costs to be reduced on constructing the warship and the CVN-80 USS Enterprise, too, which would be the same class.

The committee staff member said that the limitations on spending are actually forcing the Navy to accept delivery on unfinished carriers and intending to pay more money at a later time to add critical capabilities.

“CVN-79 will not be able to deploy with F-35s when it’s delivered to the Navy as a direct result of that cost cap. So when that cost cap was imposed, the Navy traded that capability off and chose to build that back in on the back end,” the committee staffer said. “That’s unacceptable to our members that the newest carriers can’t deploy with the newest aircraft.”

Making the carriers able to deploy with F-35s was just one example of work deferred until after delivery.

Some capabilities are installed during post-shakedown availability (PSA), that is also a reason why the Ford-class carriers are far behind schedule.

Other capabilities are delayed until regularly scheduled maintenance availabilities even later in the ship’s life.

According to the Drive, the most likely issue with the USS John F. Kennedy are the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG).

“These electrically-powered and electronically-controlled systems are supposed to give the Ford-class more control over the finer aspects of the launch and recovery process. The Navy claims this will improve sortie generation rates, reduce wear and tear on aircraft, and increase reliability and safety across the board.”

Earlier, Navy acquisition chief James Geurts said that the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) would not have all of its advanced weapons elevators working when the ship leaves its PSA in October.

“We are working right now with the fleet on what elevators do we need to have complete so they can exercise all the function in October, and for any of that work that isn’t done, how we’re going to feather that work in over time,” Geurts said.

According to the subcommittee staff member, all the delays in work to satisfy the spending caps are pointless, since the cost would actually increase dramatically after many of the capabilities are added after the ship is commissioned.

The committee recommends removing the spending caps, and that is the case with the CVN-80 and CVN-81, which are with a fixed-price contract.

The cost cap for USS Gerald R. Ford was adjusted a few times but ended up being $12.8 billion. USS John F. Kennedy’s cost cap is $11 billion.

With the USS Gerald R. Ford, two years after the Navy received the ship, only a pair of its 11 weapons elevators are working. It’s unclear when they all might get certified for regular use.

The Navy is now planning to build a land-based test facility for the elevators, but that won’t become operational until sometime in 2020.

The elevators are absolutely critical to the ship’s ability to fight. In January 2019, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer had said US President Donald Trump should fire him if the elevator issue didn’t get resolved by the end of the summer.

These aren’t even all of the USS Geralrd R. Ford’s issues, and the US Congress’ concerns related to the USS John F. Kennedy being similarly limited are reasonable.

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  • FlorianGeyer
    • northerntruthseeker .

      I absolutely agree… But considering what a Joke the F35 Lightning II “fighter” truly is, this may be a blessing in disguise for the US Navy!

      • HardHawk

        or an intentional oversight?

    • Vitex

      can’t make this shit up. All your eggs in one basket, anyone? Wonder if the Houthis could sink a Ford-class carrier with a bic lighter…..

      • FlorianGeyer

        I bet they could :)

  • Brother Thomas

    The emphasis on the phrase “expensive weapon systems” is not on the “weapon systems” part, but the “expensive” part – to transfer as much money from the US Treasury to the arms manufacturers and contractors.

  • JustPassingThrough

    unbelievable!
    you just can’t make this sh*t up.
    lmao

  • Barba_Papa

    From what I once gathered the US Navy never really was a big fan of the F-35 to begin with, and they would have preferred to just order additional F/A-18E’s and F’s instead. Or even further improve that airframe. Naturally Lockheed-Martin used its lobby in Congress to stop that from happening. So this kinda looks like further sabotage by the US Navy of the F-35 program. Oh, sorry, our new carriers can’t handle the F-35C. Can we please have some more F/A-18’s and drones instead?

  • Sounds like knowing political jackass to me !!!

  • Xoli Xoli

    Shit can’t sit on shit what joke.

  • StevenRobert

    I’m not sure if they’re including the cost of carrier air squadrons along with the carrier hardware under the cost cap.

    If I was the ship captain, I’m not sure I would even leave harbor until the ship was ready to deploy with weapons, otherwise, it’s just an expensive cruise ship.

    • Sinbad2

      The good news is, you’re not a ships captain, or even a swabby.

      • Signor Ugarte

        Neither are you…..

    • frankly

      Isn’t calling an F-35 a weapon kind of an exaggeration?

      No on a cruise you get to leave at the next decent port.

      Meanwhile millions of people around the world pray for someone to sink your ship.

      If you were captain you would do as you were fucking told!

      • StevenRobert

        Certainly, a captain has to follow orders. They’re caught in the vice, doing what they’re told (orders) but then being responsible when things go bad.

        The captains in the ships recently having collisions, I think in the Pacific, Japan sea I believe, where I think a tanker had run into a destroyer. They actually had a couple of collisions with loss of life. They do need to keep watch to make sure they’re not on a collision course with a tanker.

        Probably best to stay out of the shipping lanes.

        I really don’t know exact details about the F35. I don’t even think I know as much about it as the Chinese. I think they even were able to hack into the plans at one point. There are certainly high hopes that it will be able to evade radar detection and aide in battle management. It is expensive, no question about that, and it’s avionics are billed as being a great advance, but there have been problems in the software. Bad software can be catastrophic, and I think even led to a couple of Boeing 737 Max aircraft crashes with extensive loss of life. We can only hope we have enough time to get the software bugs out of the system before the F35s are called on in battle, and hopefully they can fix the problems in the carrier elevators as well. This seems to be more of an elementary mechanical engineering problem and is hard to understand why they haven’t fixed it by now.

        • frankly

          We could have a long nit picking conversation about what is wrong technically. But to me all these symptoms point to a larger malaise.

          We have been corrupted spiritually and morally. God is not on our side.

          Even if there is no god how can we go on pushing our way over the rest of world fully consecrated by the MSM. We deliver an utter catastrophe, call it democracy. While lambasting an austere but peaceful poverty as needing regime change.

          The world we have created, profits by chaos or the engineering problems would be easy to fix. It is our goals that need to be innovated. Rather than better ways to make war we need to commit to peace.

          • StevenRobert

            Thanks for expressing your opinion.

            The US did try that approach previously, being neutral in WWI, but then German submarines engaged in sinking merchant ships with some American citizens being drowned. I think sinking the Lusitania was the thing that pushed the US into going to war on the allied side.

            Then there was neutrality again between the two World Wars. The US was neutral, but then stopped selling scrap to the Japanese, who were deeply involved in a war in China. Franklin Roosevelt authorized the American Volunteer Group (American military pilots recruited to fly P40’s for the Nationalist Chinese). It was a poorly kept secret, and the Japanese had warned the US if it engaged in operations against the Japanese, they would attack. It probably led up to Pearl Harbor, Dec 7, 1941. A recent book, “The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan” by Sam Kleiner gives a fantastic account of the Flying Tigers. The Japanese ran wild over the US and British forces in the Pacific until the US was able to regroup, and after 4 hard years, dropped the A bombs to end it.

            So with the failure of neutrality, the US has since taken a more anticipatory or even preemptive stance, and is currently engaged in the War on Terror after the 9/11 attacks.

            Ronald Reagan summed it up with his statement, Peace through Strength. The alternative, likely surrender.

  • Sinbad2

    I like the way American politicians tell American soldiers which weapons they should use.
    Obviously a fat greedy politician knows more about war than a soldier.

    • Brother Thomas

      I am not sure the distinction exists, given the revolving door between government officials, the military brass, and the arms industry. This is not really about fighting or winning wars, but about the Benjamins. The US is still mired in its Afghan and Iraq misadventures. The last war it won was WW-2, unless one counts Grenada and Panama.

      • frankly

        one doesn’t

    • frankly

      Number one complaint is always the gear, ok food then gear.

  • frankly

    You’d think they would be good at building and deploying aircraft carriers. Not so much.

    The most important training for a CVN sailor is how to abandon ship.

    Rather than sinking the enemy, these ships are sinking the US.

    You keep daring the world to sink one and sooner or later the Houthi will. From a rowboat.

    • Sinbad2

      I got woken up in my bunk by a guy who said we’re taking water aft, emergency stations, and the alarms were ringing. Grabbed my boots and was half way out the mess door, when I remembered we were in Sydney harbour. I thought fuck that, I can swim from here and went to the upper deck.
      A ferry had run into us, all was well, so I went back down to my emergency station.

      • frankly

        After being at battle stations for so long you would not believe me if I told you, I slept through flooding, fire and reactor scram with all the associated alarms. Finally some imbecile mistaken woke me up for a watch that wasn’t mine to stand.

        I went to sleep in a cool, quiet, dark bunk, when he woke me the emergency generator was running, we were pitching violently on the surface, all the lights were on and it was at least 40c in there. Soaked in sweat, I had slept through the whole thing. Not a drill.

    • Brother Thomas

      Great comment. Made me chuckle.

  • Freeland_Dave

    Considering the F35’s have parts manufactured all over the world, including it’s avionics, and assembled in Italy and Japan there is absolutely no way I would assign any of those aircraft to service any part of our nation’s military. We would be asking for trouble.

  • Redadmiral

    What the fuck difference will it make whether Yanki A/C Carriers have F-35s, F-22s or F-18s shitting on their decks when hit by a the hypersonic Kizhal. Lol

    • Sinbad2

      Well F-35’s burn with a blue flame, the FA-18’s with a green flame.

      • Redadmiral

        And the F-22?

        • Signor Ugarte

          They go “poof”…..

        • Monte George Jr

          Invisible stealth flames.

    • frankly

      The 35’s will generate the most profit, what else matters?

  • Assad must stay (gr8rambino)

    the less aircraft carriers and less aircraft US has, better for world peace :)

  • Jim M. Ryles

    SO WHAT, MAKE NO MISTAKE WE CAN STILL KICK YOUR A!

    • Harry Smith

      You missed the button. Just one letter in the left. You used “k” in the beginning of the word instead of “L”.