The US Navy’s new bungle-ridden carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, finally got one of the problems delaying it fixed last month: its propulsion system was repaired. Next up: the nuclear-powered ship’s weapons elevators.
“After more than 12 months of maintenance and repairs, the Navy accepted re-delivery of the propulsion plant upon PPCD [propulsion plant completion date], marking significant progress in Ford’s post-shakedown availability (PSA), and driving the ship closer to getting back out to sea,” a Monday statement by the Navy reads.
“For the past year or so, the focus has been supporting the shipyard in propulsion plant production work,” Ford’s reactor officer, Cmdr. Emily Bassett, said in the statement. “With hard work, innovation, and teamwork, reactor department Sailors and their shipyard counterparts together have achieved a major milestone. We now enter the transition phase, where our focus shifts from a shipyard production work mindset to a ship’s force operational and maintenance mindset. Reactor Department Sailors are owning it!”
The 100,000-ton warship is the largest and most expensive the Navy’s ever made, with its $13 billion budget being at least 20% over its initially projected costs. It’s powered by two uranium-fueled A1B nuclear reactors, built for the vessel by Bechtel Corporation. The reactors are estimated by the World Nuclear Association to be 25% more powerful than those used in the Ford’s predecessor class, based on the…