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McCain: US Gerald R. Ford-Class Nuclear Carrier Program $6Bln Over Budget

© AP Photo / Steve HelberPeople pose for photos in front of Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford during the christening of the ship in November 2013.
People pose for photos in front of Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford during the christening of the ship in November 2013. - Sputnik International
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The US Navy’s latest Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear aircraft carriers - the largest ever built - is now $6 billion over budget with cost overruns of $4.7 billion on the first two ships alone, Senator John McCain said in a press release.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Despite these enormous additional expenditures, McCain noted, significant questions still remain about the capability and reliability of the core systems of these aircraft carriers.

"To date, the CVN-78 ship has experienced $2.4 billion in cost growth and is eight months delayed, while the CVN-79 ship has experienced $2.3 billion in cost growth and is five years delayed," McCain stated on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, McCain released a new report on the cost overruns in the "America’s Most Wasted: Indefensible" series in which he details the troubling cost-growth of the US Navy's Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier program.

The new carriers are "[p]lagued by problems with immature technology, concurrent development and production and critical systems that cannot reliably perform their missions," the release stated.

When McCain asked the former US Chief of Naval Operations who was responsible for the cost overrun on the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier (CVN-78), he said he did not know, according to the release.

"We cannot afford another acquisition failure like the Ford-class aircraft carrier, especially in the current fiscal environment. We simply cannot afford to pay$12.9 billion for a single ship," McCain said according to the release.

McCain suggested that Department of Defense planners consider building smaller, cheaper aircraft carriers that could bring new competitors into the market.

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