A recent review of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the Navy’s new $12.9 billion warship, found that the vessel, not yet deployed, could be obsolete before its maiden voyage.
"With the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly premature to include so many unproven technologies [on the vessel]," Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, wrote in a memo, according to the Japan Times.
But new revelations show that the power problems may prevent the Ford from even leaving port.
An electrical explosion occurred in the ship’s second main turbine generator (MTG) in June. While US military officials insist there was no fire, the incident was enough to fling debris into the turbine. One month later, a similar explosion occurred on the first MTG.
Pentagon sources speaking to Defense News claim that the cause has been traced to faulty voltage regulators.
Repairs are expected to cost at least $37 million.
This is the latest in a series of setbacks that has forced a delay in delivery of the USS Ford.
"The current estimated delivery date is in November 2016," a spokesman for the Navy, Capt. Thurraya S. Kent, told Military.com in July.
"If additional issues arise during the remaining shipboard testing, that date may need to be revised."
Earlier problems involved the ship’s runway capabilities, munitions movement, and defense capabilities.
"Unless these issues are resolved, which would likely require redesigning, they will significantly limit the CVN-78’s ability to conduct combat operations," Michael Gilmore, DoD director of operational test and evaluation, wrote in a memo from July.
The repeated delays have angered US lawmakers, including Arizona Senator John McCain.
"The advanced arresting gear cannot recover airplanes. Advanced weapons elevators cannot lift munitions. The dual-band radar cannot integrate two radar bands," McCain said in a statement.
"Even if everything goes according to the Navy’s plan, CVN-78 will be delivered with multiple systems unproven."
With two turbines having already exploded, everything is most certainly not going according to the Navy’s plan.