Home America US Navy’s Costliest Warship Suffers Second Failure in a Year

US Navy’s Costliest Warship Suffers Second Failure in a Year

United States Navy Aircraft Carriers

United States Navy Aircraft Carriers

The USS Gerald R. Ford, the newest and most expensive warship of her class in the United States Navy Aircraft carriers has suffered a new failure at sea that forced it back to port and raised fresh questions about the new class of aircraft carriers.

This is the second breakdown in a year for the USS Ford’s population system. It had suffered the similar population issue in January 2018.

The setback has come at a time when Navy is poised to request approval from the Congress to expedite a contract for a fourth carrier in what was to have been a three-ship class. It’s part of a push to expand the Navy’s 284-ship fleet to 355 as soon as the mid-2030s.

The Naval Sea Systems Command said the Ford experienced “an out of specification condition” with a propulsion system component. Huntington Ingalls determined it was due to a “manufacturing defect,” the command said, and “not improper operation” by sailors. The defect “affects the same component” located in other parts of the propulsion system, the Navy added.

The Navy is seeking approval in the fiscal 2019 defense request to accelerate purchase of the fourth Ford-class carrier by bundling it in a contract with the third. It expects to request congressional support over the next month or two for what’s now an estimated $58 billion program.

The ship built by Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc. has been sailing in a shakedown period to test systems and work out bugs. It’s now scheduled to be ready for initial combat duty in 2022.

The spokesperson of Huntington Industries refused to name anyone who made the bearing that failed.

Propulsion parts are manufactured in General Electric Cooperation. The Navy program officer’s inspection report after January failure revealed machining errors by GE workers at a Lynn, Massachusetts, facility during the original manufacturing as the actual root cause.

Although, GE in their reply has said that they were associated with the production in past but are no longer producing gears for CVN-78, official name of the Gerald R. Ford.

The post-shakedown availability was supposed to start last month and end in December. Its start is now delayed until this summer in part because of the failure, with completion about a year later.