The U.S. Navy may have to change the delivery schedule for the first Ford-class aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), because the program continues to grapple with technical “issues” uncovered in testing, according to Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

“The Navy is evaluating the most cost-effective and efficient schedule to complete sea trials and ship delivery,” NAVSEA said in a statement Sept. 23. The “Navy continues to work on technical resolution to all shipboard testing issues and it wouldn’t be prudent to discuss delivery schedule until we have resolution.”

The flight deck of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Photo: Defense Daily
The flight deck of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Photo: Defense Daily

Those issues include problems since June with the Main Turbine Generators (MTGs), which generate electricity for the ship, NAVSEA said. The Navy has “identified that a component of the MTG requires a repair. We are currently developing repair plans and gathering materials needed to effect in-place repairs of the MTGs.”

NAVSEA’s comments came more than two months after the Navy announced that the ship’s delivery would be delayed from September to November to resolve “first-of-class issues.” Besides addressing the MTGs, the Navy also has been tackling problems with the advanced arresting gear and dual-band radar.

Vice Adm. Thomas Moore, NAVSEA’s commander, has expressed confidence that the CVN-78 will overcome its development challenges and become a valuable asset for warfighters (Defense Daily, July 13, 2016). The ship, whose prime contractor is Huntington Ingalls Industries [HII], is supposed to provide more combat capabilities and operational efficiencies than the existing Nimitz-class carriers.