WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy needs to get the permission of lawmakers to move $62.7 million to fix a number of hiccups in its high-tech new carrier, the Gerald R. Ford, during its post-shakedown availability that kicked off July 15.
The money, part of a larger DoD reprogramming request from June, will go toward fixing a number of issues that arose during its recently concluded post-delivery trials, according to a copy of the request obtained by Defense News.
According to the document, the Navy needs to move:
- $12.7 million to fix “continuing technical deficiencies” with the Advanced Weapon Elevators.
- $30 million for “tooling and repair” of the main thrust bearings, issues that the Navy has blamed on the manufacturer.
- $20 million for additional repairs, a prolonged post-shakedown availabilty, and parts and labor.
The Navy told Congress in May that it was going to exceed the Ford’s $12.9 billion cost cap because of needed repairs and alterations. The $62.7 million was part of that total repair bill.
The repairs and technology setbacks extended the Ford’s PSA at Huntington Ingalls' Newport News Shipbuilding from eight months to 12 months, according to a statement from Naval Sea Systems Command, and significantly added to the cost. The ship will then proceed to full-ship shock trials ahead of its first deployment, a priority pushed by Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., according to the document.
Since its delivery, the Ford has spent 81 days at sea during the eight times it was underway, a July 15 NAVSEA release said.
“The ship has completed 747 shipboard aircraft launches and recoveries against a plan of approximately 400,” the release said. “CVN 78 successfully completed fixed-wing aircraft/helicopter integration and compatibility testing, air traffic control center certification, JP-5 fuel system certification, daytime underway replenishment capability demonstration, ship’s defensive system demonstration, Dual Band Radar testing, and propulsion plant operations.”
Joe Gould contributed to this report.
David B. Larter was the naval warfare reporter for Defense News. Before that, he reported for Navy Times.