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Author Topic: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN  (Read 44814 times)

Offline Triton

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Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« on: November 19, 2012, 02:26:38 pm »
Huntington Ingalls video of U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) build sequence:

Quote
The first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is the Navy's first aircraft carrier to be completely designed using a 3-dimensional product model.


Offline Deino

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 05:50:57 am »
Sorry, couldn't resist, but does the Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai has this sequence too ???   ;D
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline Triton

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2012, 11:28:30 am »
Sorry, couldn't resist, but does the Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai has this sequence too ???   ;D

Probably, they have been building ships for a while there.  :P

Offline Jemiba

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2012, 11:04:25 pm »
Judging the public opinion about China, you just have to revise the beginning and end date, and
maybe play the video at a higher speed !   ;D
It takes a long time, before all mistakes are made ...

Offline Abraham Gubler

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 11:41:26 pm »
Sorry, couldn't resist, but does the Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai has this sequence too ???   ;D

Have they ever built a carrier? Huntingdon (Newport News) has.
"There is a tendency in our planning to confuse the unfamiliar with the improbable." Thomas Schelling

Offline Deino

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 01:46:00 am »
Sorry, couldn't resist, but does the Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai has this sequence too ???   ;D

Have they ever built a carrier? Huntingdon (Newport News) has.

Definitively not .... but reportedly at that shipyard the first two indigenous - also allegedly a modified Varyag-design - will be build.

Deino
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline chuck4

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2012, 09:41:39 am »
Sorry, couldn't resist, but does the Jiangnan Shipyard near Shanghai has this sequence too ???   ;D

Have they ever built a carrier? Huntingdon (Newport News) has.

Newport News has built essentially the same design for the last 40 years on an essentially cost plus basis.    The Chinese now have a much larger and more diverse ship building industry than the US, with more recent experience using modern techniques to build a larger variety of different types ships.  This in some degree probably offset Newport New's specific experience and expertise.
 

Offline Creative

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Offline Creative

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2013, 10:03:29 pm »
4 EMALS launchers tested.

http://www.avionics-intelligence.com/news/2013/03/20/navy-tests-new-carrier-launch-system.html

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The U.S. Navy's new launch system for carrier-based aircraft has demonstrated its generator-sharing capabilities for multiple catapults.
 The Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, replacing the steam catapult system on aircraft carriers, has six subsystems that work together and share components to power the four catapults on the ship but earlier tests only involved the use of one launcher.
 The latest demonstration at Joint Base McGuire-Dix at Lakehurst, N.J., involved four launchers

Offline Grey Havoc

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Offline Triton

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2014, 07:34:53 pm »
"Navy’s new $12b aircraft carrier beset with performance problems
Review raises doubts about launch capacity, other vital systems in new vessel"
by Bryan Bender |  Globe Staff 
January 10, 2014

Source:
http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2014/01/09/reliability-problems-emerge-crucial-components-billion-aircraft-carrier-modern-catapult-for-planes-falls-short-initial-tests-uss-gerald-ford/ZZVA1cN9W40iITvN9uK6yJ/story.html

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WASHINGTON — The US Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, a multibillion-dollar behemoth that is the first in a next generation of carriers, is beset with a number of performance problems, even failing tests of its ability to launch and recover combat jets, according to an internal assessment by the Pentagon.

The early tests are raising worries that the USS Gerald R. Ford, christened in honor of the 38th president in November, may not meet the Navy’s goal of significantly increasing the number of warplanes it can quickly launch — and could even be less effective than older vessels. The carrier is undergoing testing at a Virginia shipyard and is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2016, with a price tag estimated at more than $12 billion.

At least four crucial components, which are still being installed on the ship, are at risk because of their poor or unknown reliability, states the 30-page testing assessment, which was delivered last month to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and other top Pentagon leaders.

In addition to the ship’s launching and landing systems for jet fighters, officials are also concerned about its advanced radar system, which is being produced by Waltham-based Raytheon Company. It also remains unclear if a key weapons elevator will work as promised.

“Poor reliability of these critical systems could cause a cascading series of delays during flight operations that would affect [the ship’s] ability to generate sorties, make the ship more vulnerable to attack, or create limitations during routine operations,” according to the report, a copy of which was obtained by the Globe.

A number of other systems, such as communications gear, meanwhile, are performing at less than acceptable standards, according to the assessment by J. Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation. Gilmore concluded that the Navy has little choice but to redesign key components of the ship.

Rear Admiral Thomas J. Moore, the program executive officer for aircraft carriers, defended the progress of the ship in an interview and expressed confidence that, in the two years before delivery, the Navy and its contractors will overcome what he acknowledged are multiple hurdles.

“With these new technologies comes a lot of developmental challenges,” said Moore, an MIT-trained nuclear engineer. “We disagree with the characterizations of the risks. The ship . . . is going to be a fantastic ship that will provide capabilities [the current fleet] doesn’t have.”

But the Navy declined to discuss specifics of the assessment, saying it was an internal document and has not been made public. It also could not say how the problems might affect the delivery schedule, cost, or combat effectiveness. The ship’s primary contractor, Newport News Shipbuilding, also declined to discuss the findings of the report.

“We are going to defer to the Navy on the report,” said Christie R. Miller, a spokesperson for its parent, Huntington Ingalls Shipbuilding.

The ship has had its share of critics in the past. The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found last year that the cost of producing the ship had risen 22 percent from original predictions.

The Accountability Office recommended delaying construction of the second ship in the class, the USS John F. Kennedy, until the Navy and its contractors have a better handle on a series of untried technologies.

A third vessel in the new ship class, the USS Enterprise, is in the works, and the Navy could buy up to eight more vessels.

At 1,106 feet, the Gerald Ford class ships are the first newly designed carriers in more than 30 years. The prototype has 25 decks and is 250 feet high. The carriers are intended to replace some of the 11 Nimitz class aircraft carriers that debuted in the 1980s.

Most new Pentagon weapons systems encounter development and engineering problems. In this case, the Navy still has two years before scheduled delivery to work on solutions.

But Gilmore’s assessment, which was based on a yearlong evaluation of the Gerald Ford ending in September 2013, is the strongest indication yet that the Navy may be falling short of its goal of increasing the number of combat flights that can be flown from an individual ship.

About 60 percent of the ship, which like its predecessors will be nuclear powered, is based on the Nimitz design, while the remaining 40 percent consists of entirely new components — including a larger flight deck and high-tech systems. It is many of those new technologies that are encountering serious problems, Pentagon leaders have been told.

Primary among them is the so-called electromagnetic aircraft launch system, which is replacing the steam-powered catapult system long used to launch jets off the deck. The new system features a 100,000-horsepower linear electric motor, with a slide that accelerates along a giant rail. It has the ability launch multiple planes, one after the other, at a rapid pace.

Land-based tests of the system in New Jersey have demonstrated a reliability rate of only 240 launches without a failure, when it should be above 1,250 launches without failure at this stage of the Gerald Ford’s development.

Meanwhile, a companion system, known as the advanced arresting gear, which is designed to safely snare landing aircraft with cables stretched across the deck, is similarly unreliable, according to the report. In the tests, the system of cables has averaged 20 successful landings without failure. That is far less than the 4,950 successful landings it should be achieving without failure. The ultimate goal is for the system to work 16,500 times without failure.

Unless the various problems are resolved, the Pentagon weapons testers warned, the Gerald Ford will not be able to fly the number of wartime sorties envisioned by Navy planners, and two carriers might be needed to achieve the same effect of one.

The launch and landing systems are both being built by California-based General Atomics. Gary Hopper, vice president at the company, declined to respond to questions.

“I would defer your questions to our customer,’’ he said. “It is not our policy not to speak for the Navy on this program or others.”

Ronald O’Rourke, a naval analyst at the Congressional Research Service and an expert on shipbuilding programs, said the first ship in a new class traditionally faces significant technological challenges and cost growth.

“Lead ships tend to be difficult,” he said. Still, he added, “the number of new technologies on this ship is not extraordinary.”

Admiral Moore did not address directly the Pentagon’s concerns about the new launch and recovery systems but said the technology was not so futuristic that problems cannot be solved.

“This isn’t like a laser or a proton torpedo,” he said, noting that similar power systems are used to run roller coasters at amusement parks.

But he acknowledged the amount of electric power the Navy needs to generate to launch and recover hundreds of planes each day on the deck of an aircraft carrier at sea is unique.

“On the scale we are talking about, we haven’t done this before,” he said.

The assessment also raised concerns about the progress of the so-called dual band radar that Raytheon’s Integrated Defense Systems and Advanced Technology division in Rhode Island is helping design.

The radar, which is currently being tested along the Virginia coast, is supposed to be able to multitask: conduct air traffic control, scan the skies and the horizon for potential threats, and gather target data that can be fed into the computers of weapons systems.

“There is little information on reliability,” the assessment concludes about the new radar, even though an estimated 86 percent of the system’s components have already been delivered to the Navy. Raytheon did not respond to requests for comment.

Moore, however, said the Navy remains confident in the new radar, although he acknowledged that testing has been limited with the ship in port, where its full power cannot be utilized “unless you want to shut down everybody’s TV station in Norfolk.”

Moore predicted that the ship will overcome its hurdles before it enters the fleet.

“We expect to wring out the rest of the problems,” Moore said. “We have 26 months to go.”
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 03:05:09 pm by Triton »

Offline Triton

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2014, 02:55:38 pm »
"Navy Alerted to Ford-class Carrier Reliability Issues"
by Kris Osborn Friday, January 31st, 2014 3:14 pm

Source:
http://www.dodbuzz.com/2014/01/31/navy-alerted-to-ford-class-carrier-reliability-issues/

Quote
A Pentagon weapons report says technologies being developed for the Navy’s new next-generation aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, are not reliable.

In particular, the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, or DOT&E, annual report said the ship’s new catapult, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems, or EMALS, Advanced Arresting Gear, Dual Band Radar and weapons elevators all need more testing and reliability improvement.

The USS Ford, or CVN 78, is slated to complete Initial Operational Test & Evaluation in 2017, a key step before formally deploying in service with the Navy. The DOT&E report finds that key testing and reliability improvements are necessary for this to take place successfully.

“DOT&E assesses that the poor or unknown reliability of these critical systems will pose the most significant risk to CVN-78’s successful completion of IOT&E,” the report says.

“The current reliability estimates for the catapult and arresting gear systems are a small fraction of their projected target for the shipboard configuration, and an even smaller fraction of the required reliability. Reliability test data are not available for the radar and the weapons elevators,” the report states.

Unlike steam catapults, which power airplanes on existing carriers, the EMALS system uses an electromagnetic charge. The EMALS system has been undergoing testing at a site in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The report says 201 launch failures have occurred out of a total of 1,967 launches.

“Based on available data, the program estimates that EMALS has approximately 240 mean cycles between critical failure in the shipboard configuration, where a cycle represents the launch of one aircraft,” the report says.

The report also highlights the Advanced Arresting Gear, or AAG, a technologically improved method of helping aircraft land on the flight deck of the carrier. The AAG is also being tested in Lakehusrt, N.J., and the report says that this system also experiences high rates of failure. There were nine arresting failures out of 71 attempts, the report claims.

“The Program Office estimates that AAG has approximately 20 mean cycles between operational mission failure in the shipboard configuration, where a cycle represents the recovery of one aircraft. Based on expected reliability growth, the failure rate is presently 248 times higher than should be expected,” the report says.

Navy officials say they will continue to work with DOT&E to complete the testing programs and transition the ship to service, however they remain confident in the development of the technologies slated to go on the USS Ford.

“Developmental systems such as EMALS, AAG and DBR are undergoing land based testing to build confidence in system reliability. The Navy remains confident they will exhibit sufficient operational availability to enable full performance,” said Chris Johnson, spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command.

The USS Ford also has a larger deck space compared to its Nimitz-class predecessor carriers, an effort designed in part to increase the sortie generation rate of aircraft on the ship. The design of the deck space and the island are intended to create a circumstance wherein commanders can get 30-percent more sorties from a Ford-class carrier compared to a Nimitz-class carriers.

The DOT&E report, however, questions this, claiming the Ford-class’ sortie-generation rate numbers are overly optimistic.

“The target threshold (sortie rate) is based on unrealistic assumptions including fair weather and unlimited visibility, and that aircraft emergencies, failures of shipboard equipment, ship maneuvers (e.g., to avoid land), and manning shortfalls will not affect flight operations,” the report states.

Navy officials expressed confidence in the Ford’s expected sortie generation rate.

“Sortie generation rate estimates have been developed through robust modeling and simulation, which the Navy will continue to mature through Initial Operational Test and Evaluation. Model results will be validated by an at-sea test after CVN 78 delivery,” Johnson added. “The Navy is confident that CVN 78 will meet threshold requirements and that the Ford Class will exceed the combat capability of the Nimitz Class.”

Offline Triton

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2014, 03:27:50 pm »
Published on Sep 13, 2013

Capt. John F. Meier, the CO of Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), the first-in-class aircraft carrier under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding, details the differences and improvements of the Ford class compared to Nimitz class.


Offline MrT

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Re: Gerald R. Ford Class CVN
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2014, 08:51:32 am »
One mighty fine ship. Oh and re the China can build a greater range of ships. Yes they probably can. But let's face it, would you rather have the Ford on your side or whatever the Chinese are coming up with? Think, nearly a hundred years of carrier expertise and practice v well next to nothing?