McCain Blasts Ford Carrier as ‘Case Study’ in Acquisition Gone Wrong

The supercarrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) moored pierside at Newport News Shipbuilding as work on the sip continues on June 8, 2015, in Newport News, Virginia. (Screengrab via video by Cory Rose/U.S. Navy)The supercarrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) moored pierside at Newport News Shipbuilding as work on the sip continues on June 8, 2015, in Newport News, Virginia. (Screengrab via video by Cory Rose/U.S. Navy)

After the Navy acknowledged delivery of the new Ford-class carrier will be delayed by a couple of months to November due to problems discovered during testing, Sen. John McCain issued a scathing statement in which he expressed his exasperation at yet another setback for the ship, whose $2.3 billion in overruns have increased its overall cost to $13 billion.

Another delivery delay “further demonstrates that key systems still have not demonstrated expected performance,” the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee said. “The advanced arresting gear [AAG] cannot recover airplanes. Advanced weapons elevators cannot lift munitions. The dual-band radar cannot integrate two radar bands. Even if everything goes according to the Navy’s plan, CVN-78 will be delivered with multiple systems unproven.

“This situation is unacceptable and was entirely preventable,” McCain said. “The Ford-class program is a case study in why our acquisition system must be reformed.”

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Richard Sisk
Richard Sisk is a reporter for Military.com. He can be reached at richard.sisk@military.com.