America’s Newest Carrier Is a Fiasco. The Navy Just Admitted Why

It's an experimental technology demonstrator, not a ship of war

The aptly-named USS Gerald R. Ford joined the fleet 4 years ago. It has yet to make a single deployment.

The head of the U.S. Navy admits the service added too much untested tech to its latest and greatest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford.

When the Navy first built the Ford, it incorporated nearly two dozen new technologies, some of which are still giving the service headaches 4 years after the ship entered the fleet.

In a presentation recorded for August’s Sea Air Space exposition, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said adding 23 new features to the Ford was a “mistake” the Navy can’t afford to repeat.


Gilday said he needs to take “a much more deliberate approach with respect to introducing new technologies to any platform”—preferably one that only introduces up to two technologies per ship and thoroughly tests them on land first.

The USS Ford is the inaugural ship in the Ford-class aircraft carriers, the first new class of aircraft carriers in 40 years. The Navy was eager to cram new tech into the Ford, including a new search radar, electromagnetically powered aircraft catapults to replace traditionally steam-powered catapults, a new aircraft recovery system, and 11 electromagnetically powered elevators designed to shuttle bombs and missiles from the ship’s magazine to waiting aircraft.

But technical problems with the new features led to $2.8 billion in cost overruns and delays, resulting in a total ship cost of $13 billion—not including the actual planes on the carrier.

Those delays meant the Navy only commissioned the Ford in 2017, despite laying it down in 2009. Even then, problems lingered, especially with the electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) and the advanced weapon elevators (AWEs).

The ship’s first full deployment, originally scheduled for 2018, is now set for 2022.

As a result of the Ford fiasco, the Navy is building copies of new tech bound for its Constellation-class frigates on land to ensure they work properly, according to U.S. Naval Institute News. The Navy surprisingly didn’t do this for several pieces of key tech that went into the Ford. Gilday also said the last of the 11 AWEs will be operational sometime this year.

The Ford is currently in shock trials, a series of tests off the coast of Florida designed to ensure the ship can withstand shock and battle damage in wartime. The ship will then enter a maintenance period before its first deployment next year. Hopefully.

Source: Popular Mechanics

  1. ken says

    Another example of today’s engineering brought to you by cheap foreign engineers with sprinkling of woke American engineers from merit free universities.

    And I dumped Popular Mechanics after their lunatic nawnlevin pancake theory which probably originated from the same engineers that developed the Ford A/C carrier.

    1. SPERO S SPANIOS says

      I was thinking the same thing, how many Chinese (PLA) engineers and consultants did they have “touting” these new innovations who are now having the last laugh.

      1. anonymous human says

        Yes, of course! It’s the fault of the Chinese!

        What an american exceptional idiot!

      2. someone says

        NOFORNS are not allowed to work at the shipyard where this was built. This includes the guy welding on the deck plate all the way down to engineers who design and decompose requirements.

    2. anonymous human says

      Actually, the foreign engineers are the only ones that know how to do anything. It’s the woke american engineers who have spent their childhoods playing video games instead of haveing relevant technical hobbies or have been involved with “woke” pursuits which are delusional, who tend to not know anything or have technical experience not worth talking about.

    3. yuri says

      US engineers incompetent

    4. Séamus Ó Néill says

      Just face the indisputable facts, the hodgepodge of nationalities that make up the US are, by their very nature, not the most intelligent of groupings. The US space age was constructed by German scientists brought over in operation “Paper-Clip”, there’s no real US engineering skills….look at the recent disasters with the F35, the un-stealthy stealth bombers etc etc. Best stick at what you do best, genocide, bullying and bioweapons.

    5. Dano S. says

      You took the words right out of my mouth. I feel exactly the same way. I am old enough to remember the commissioning and shakedown cruise of the magnificent CVN-65. She was beautiful and performed magnificently, surpassing all expectations right from the start. She was also a new technology test ship, but she managed to function exceptionally. There is no other way than to describe the USS Gerald R Ford as an expensive failure, just like so many other new tech platforms. Like the Zumwalt class destroyers and other costly failures.

      1. Vinnie O says

        Note that the decommissioned Enterprise is ENTIRELY radioactive and 10 YEARS after leaving service NO ONE can figure out ANY way to SCRAP it. So it gets TOWED from shipyard to shipyard as the locals realize they are all going to die from the radiation of simply having the ship PARKED in their community.. I assume EVERY OTHER CVN is in the same predicament, and this SHOULD LOGICALLY MEAN that the US will STOP building nuclear-powered ships

    6. abinico warez says

      Very wrong – to work on military stuff you need to be a US citizen – the MIC sucks up all American engineers and the cheap foreign brains end up working commercial.

  2. Raptar Driver says

    It seems the ship is keeping up the tradition of it’s namesake.

    1. Mr Reynard says

      Read my mind Raptar ??

      1. Raptar Driver says

        It is said that great minds think alike.

        1. anonymous human says

          It’s also said that small minds seldom differ… 😉

          1. yuri says

            good insight…this is a peculiar amerikan disease…as numerous sociologists have written Americans are extraordinarily insecure and obsessed with “popularity” …so insecure that , “the ordinary amerikan cannot tolerate being alone…insatiable for reassurance and signs of friendship and love…” Geoffrey Gorer
            “Asians and Europeans have long observed that amerikans cannot tolerate privacy”. David Riesman
            if an amerikan lemming is alone they will busily be copulating with their mobile phone
            “busy busy numb—amerikans cannot feel themselves alive unless they feel themselves busy…” Thomas de Zengodita
            as Zygmunt Bauman wrote, “speed obliterates the capacity to think”.

            1. Raptar Driver says

              What is the typical disease of the Zionist?

          2. Raptar Driver says

            Are we talking intellect or penis size?

        2. Mr Reynard says

          Love your satire ??

  3. Steve Kastl says

    Floating white elephant made by people seeing pink elephants.

  4. Ultrafart the Brave says

    An awful lot of schools and hospitals and roadworks and homeless shelters could have been purchased with $13 Billion.

    Then again, it’s just a silent fart to the likes of creepy Bill and Uncle Klaus.

    Can someone remind me, what exactly is it that we’re fighting for?

    1. Thim says


  5. yuri says

    “amerika is gigantic—a gigantic mistake”. Sigmund Freud
    amerikan reptiles describe a new mousetrap as “an innovation”, trash as art, burgers as culture
    the stupified obese self uglified empire is near collapse….amerikan automatons too stupid to comprehend this having no aesthetic or historical consciousness….”amerikans are not educated to think historically or sociologically…the functional illiteracy and ignorance of amerikans has made amerikans an international joke” Morris Berman

  6. Russell Merritt says

    They will spend $20 billion on it put $20 billion of worthless F35s on it, and it will be sunk within 15 minutes in a war by a Russian Sunburn missile… and lose 6000 lives.

    1. Séamus Ó Néill says

      Is Russia going to have an off-day…..more like 5 minutes.

  7. Douglas Gray says

    Think this is bad? Wait until they commission the U.S.S. Biden, and its sister ship, The Kamala. One of our newest destroyers was almost taken out by a midnight collision with a cargo ship. Don’t want to imagine what would happen to this behemoth if a few dozen Chinese and Russian missiles were sent at it at 2 a.m.

    1. ruca says

      The USS Kamal-Toe sailing beside the HMS Highly Likely.

  8. Pablo says

    Ever wonder why the Pentagon keeps making weaponry that does not work? Weapons that have a seemingly endless series of test failures? Weapons that continue to receive funding for its flaws and other causes for cost overruns? Ever wonder why the Pentagon–and its puppets in Congress–never investigate these ultra expensive failures? If you don’t ask yourself these questions, you should. Here’s the answer. These weapons systems–like the floating white elephant the USS Gerald Ford–are designed to be failures!! More money. More PROFIT. Profit. That’s the REAL reason for these building these Techno failures. The US Government as a whole is in on it. That’s why nothing ever changes

  9. TellTheTruth-2 says

    Ford was my Congressman. He was a go along to get along guy. So I guess a ship named after him would be a disaster.

  10. abinico warez says

    And why do we need these targets of opportunity? In a war with major power like Russia of China, these things would be on the ocean bottom within 12 hours.

  11. Rock Solid says

    Never overlook or dismiss: a house divided against itself cannot stand.
    Never has , never will.

    Literally for centuries, proven to be 100% absolute fact in every divorce court world-wide!

    1. Rock Solid says

      United We Stand, Divided We Fall.
      Or crawl….as the case will be. (o_0)

  12. James says

    Hopefully when the Israeli’s stole the plans (Like they always do) to sell to the Chinese, they didn’t change anything. Jokes on China.

  13. melville pouwels says

    pay russia or germany to send a few kids over & sort it out could pay them back by buying some natural gas from them !
    no point asking israel, they have never achieved anything but interest rates their
    entire existence

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