Gerald R. Ford Class CVN

TomS

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Missed this earlier:


A US Navy Captain (not a Huntington Ingalls manager). Article says he was posted to the job only in late 2018 so not even 2 years. Maybe tied to the weapon elevators.

Note that his relief, Captain Brian Metcalf, is coming from being the LPD-17 Program Manager, and that program seems to have been working as expected.
 
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sferrin

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Missed this earlier:


A US Navy Captain (not a Huntington Ingalls manager). Article says he was posted to the job only in late 2018 so not even 2 years. Maybe tied to the weapon elevators.

Note that his relief, Captain Brina Metcalf, is coming from being the LPD-17 Program Manager, and that program seems to have been working as expected.

In other words, good news.
 

Moose

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Snippet on EMALS reliability from the recent article by Xav citing a French Senate report on their future carrier program.
The report notes that the EMALS system is becoming more reliable despite teething problems, with over 3500 successful launches (including a record 167 launches in a single day) and concludes that “the lead times for the successor to Charles de Gaulle should allow us to benefit from a widely proven system”.
 

Grey Havoc

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That report does have some inaccuracies. For example, the authors of that report didn't realise it, but that much bandied 167 figure actually conflated launches and traps carried out on that partiuclar day, with far more of the latter taking place.
 

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Hard to find "daily life" on Ford videos. Came across something called "House Of Wolverine".

This video has tidbits on the emals system given by a catapult maintenance tech.


This video is on the AAG by an operator tech in the first segment (lasts around 4 minutes). Apparently they make use of regenerative electrical capacity to recover electrical energy.
 

TomS

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Going back to the original source, it was a welding fire, rapidly extinguished.

 

rooster

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It always amazed me that ships could catch fire like that. The only ships I've been on were public expo and there's nothing no burn but steel.... To my eyes
 

batigol

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But a ship undergoing maintenance or being constructed will have plenty of flammable and dangerous things on board: welding equipment as stated above, plastics, paint and other chemicals, rags, etc.
 

TomS

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It always amazed me that ships could catch fire like that. The only ships I've been on were public expo and there's nothing no burn but steel.... To my eyes

Paperwork burns. Paint burns. Lubricants burn. Wiring insulation burns (eventually). Even under the best of conditions, ships are full of flammable stuff that just can't be avoided. And yard periods are so far from the best of conditions...
 

uk 75

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Years ago I was chatting to an RN captain who had commanded a nuclear boat. He told me in the Cold War NATO exercises the US discouraged allies from trying to sink its carriers so as not to give Congress ammunition for cancelling them. The result was that even the small submarines of the W German, Danish and Norwegian navies did their best to do so. When I asked him about the RN he just smiled.
He did suggest that slowing down or making it hard to manouvre was sufficient to render a carrier unable to fly its jets.
 

Grey Havoc

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Years ago I was chatting to an RN captain who had commanded a nuclear boat. He told me in the Cold War NATO exercises the US discouraged allies from trying to sink its carriers so as not to give Congress ammunition for cancelling them. The result was that even the small submarines of the W German, Danish and Norwegian navies did their best to do so. When I asked him about the RN he just smiled.
He did suggest that slowing down or making it hard to manouvre was sufficient to render a carrier unable to fly its jets.

Speaking of which...

https://www.reddit.com/r/submarines/comments/gacar9 View: https://www.reddit.com/r/submarines/comments/gacar9/aircraft_carrier_uss_enterprise_cvn65_seen/
 

In_A_Dream

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Every platform has its weaknesses, they just need to be deployed intelligently due to the implications of losing one. I do agree the pure cost of a carrier, its personnel, and all of the aircraft on its deck, can make for one expensive mess if lost.
 

sferrin

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Every platform has its weaknesses, they just need to be deployed intelligently due to the implications of losing one. I do agree the pure cost of a carrier, its personnel, and all of the aircraft on its deck, can make for one expensive mess if lost.

On the other hand there is no viable replacement.
 

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Every platform has its weaknesses, they just need to be deployed intelligently due to the implications of losing one. I do agree the pure cost of a carrier, its personnel, and all of the aircraft on its deck, can make for one expensive mess if lost.

On the other hand there is no viable replacement.

Of course there has to be a replacement as otherwise carrier numbers will further decline, in law now down to eleven, Esper, Sec of Defense pushing for a further reduction to nine, remember seeing Navy requirement was fifteen.

Why - the Ford nuclear class is massive funding black hole, instead of the ~$13.1 billion always quoted which is in then year 2008$, CBO in their "An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2020 Shipbuilding Plan" said equates to $16.2 billion in 2019 dollars and that's only for Phase 1 build which still not finished as all the elevators, part of Phase 1, not working, cost of Phase 2 build for the mission equipment has not been disclosed plus more $billions for the nuclear reactor mid-life refuelling and additional $billions for end of life disposal cost of the nuclear radio active engine rooms, then add in the odd $6+ billion for R&D (GAO figure) as said Ford class is one big black hole.
 

Archibald

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I'm really wondering if the CATOBAR carrier hasn't reached a size / cost / vulnerability dead-end.

I agree with Sferrin that there might be no real replacement. Fact is that Nimitz and Fords have mind-boggling strike power capabilities.

still I'm wondering, about a 65000 tons amphibious ship with F-35B and V-22 - not as capable as Ford or Nimitz (CVV, I know !) but maybe some kind of least-expensive, cannon-fodder carriers to get more decks than the shrinking 15 - 12 - 11 - 9 slippery slope the USN presently face...

Maybe build a 65 000 tons "dual ship" - part of the production run is build as amphibious with a well deck, the other part is build as a CVV / Forrestal / JFK least expansive carrier.

The ploy used to avoid another CVV dead-end: tying the smaller carrier with very large amphibious... overlapping a lower-end carrier with the high-end of the amphibious force, kind of.

Is there some kind of "sweet spot" above 50 000 tons and below 70 000 tons, where an ultra-large amphibious could "overlap" with a "reborn Forrestal / CVV / JFK " ?

Maybe EMALS could help in the process ? steam catapults were heavy and cumbersome to a point, they build a big wall between CATOBAR and everything else. EMALS, by contrast...

Maybe a case could be make, those pesky Chinese are kind of lucky to be presently "trapped" at Forrestal / JFK level - 70 000 tons, non-nuclear ships.
While not worth a Ford in capability, they are also far less expensive... and they can build more of them.

We are living interesting times.
 

sferrin

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Of course there has to be a replacement as otherwise carrier numbers will further decline, in law now down to eleven, Esper, Sec of Defense pushing for a further reduction to nine, remember seeing Navy requirement was fifteen.

I said "viable" replacement. If you want to lose capability you can replace it with anything. Even nothing. Don't want to lose capability? Either figure out how to get the costs down or pony up the dough. There is no door #3.
 

marauder2048

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The Navy has said for FA-XX that they are abandoning stand-in.

Ford was premised on high sortie-generation-rates with comparatively light, medium-sized and by modern standards stand-in
weapons (JSOW, JDAM) and not say something like HAWC (the largest hypersonic weapon that can be accommodated on the elevators) or
even JASSM-XR.

IOW, Ford really isn't designed around moving big standoff weapons around or resupplying them (there's all of one heavy resupply ship).

And if it's just air-to-surface standoff, CLEAVER or arsenal planes or the Air Force heavies are much cheaper than carrier air wings.

And surface-to-surface standoff is post-INF with two services buying lots of long ranged, surface-to-surface munitions.
Given that a typical booster for say the JASSM-XR class weapon is $100,000, the arsenal ship option, IMHO, looks very attractive.
 

sferrin

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The Navy has said for FA-XX that they are abandoning stand-in.

Ford was premised on high sortie-generation-rates with comparatively light, medium-sized and by modern standards stand-in
weapons (JSOW, JDAM) and not say something like HAWC (the largest hypersonic weapon that can be accommodated on the elevators) or
even JASSM-XR.

IOW, Ford really isn't designed around moving big standoff weapons around or resupplying them (there's all of one heavy resupply ship).

And if it's just air-to-surface standoff, CLEAVER or arsenal planes or the Air Force heavies are much cheaper than carrier air wings.

And surface-to-surface standoff is post-INF with two services buying lots of long ranged, surface-to-surface munitions.
Given that a typical booster for say the JASSM-XR class weapon is $100,000, the arsenal ship option, IMHO, looks very attractive.

Yeah, none of those can control air/sea space for months at a time, 24/7/365.
 

apparition13

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The USN thought it needed 22 carriers to fulfill it's missions circa the late 60s as the Essex class was about to retire. Thirteen in the late 70s and the Reagan era goal of 15 were steps down from that. And 15 were in service at the same time for just one year (91). Incidently, I read somewhere recently that the 600 ship navy plan did long term damage to the USN. They though they could sustain 530 or so, but the surge to 600 left them short of funds to replace ships as they were retired. Of course this is before the "peace dividend".

As for the Kitty Hawk/JFK carriers and the Nimitz class, the USN used them interchangeably. The air wings were the same, but they cost two thirds or so, maybe less, of the cost of a Nimitz. Since the air wings and crews were roughly comparable, the lifetime cost is dependent on the price of oil.

What I haven't seen is the cost of additional tankers, and escorts for extra replenishment groups, compared to not needing those for CVNs. Kind of like how the USAF decided it wasn't cost effective to replace the B-52 engines, despite gains in range, because they could refuel, but their calculated fuel costs didn't take into account the cost of fuel when it's being delived by a tanker, which needless to say is a lot higher than on the ground, and swings the analysis to replacing the engines. I'm sure it has been done, but I don't see it talked about and haven't seen an analysis. If anyone can point in the right direction I'd be grateful.

All that said, I really don't see a significant military benefit to CVNs unless they are operating in an all nuclear task force. An all nuclear task force of four carriers, 20 plus escorts and half a dozen resupply ships cruising around at 30+ knots for days at a time would be something of a game changer, but as long as everything non-carrier is conventionally powered CVNs can't achieve their full potential and you might be better off with CVs.

Yeah, none of those can control air/sea space for months at a time, 24/7/365.
Which is what the naval mission has historically been. This whole emphasis on strike rather than sea control has been a damaging distraction.
 

marauder2048

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The Navy has said for FA-XX that they are abandoning stand-in.

Ford was premised on high sortie-generation-rates with comparatively light, medium-sized and by modern standards stand-in
weapons (JSOW, JDAM) and not say something like HAWC (the largest hypersonic weapon that can be accommodated on the elevators) or
even JASSM-XR.

IOW, Ford really isn't designed around moving big standoff weapons around or resupplying them (there's all of one heavy resupply ship).

And if it's just air-to-surface standoff, CLEAVER or arsenal planes or the Air Force heavies are much cheaper than carrier air wings.

And surface-to-surface standoff is post-INF with two services buying lots of long ranged, surface-to-surface munitions.
Given that a typical booster for say the JASSM-XR class weapon is $100,000, the arsenal ship option, IMHO, looks very attractive.

Yeah, none of those can control air/sea space for months at a time, 24/7/365.

Arsenal ships assume the strike and ASuW duties and you go with CVLs for counter-air, fixed-wing ASW and fixed-wing AEW&C.
 

marauder2048

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What I haven't seen is the cost of additional tankers, and escorts for extra replenishment groups, compared to not needing those for CVNs

In OIF, a CSG (1 CVN + 5 escorts) consumed 6,400 BBLs/day split evenly between JP-5 and F-76.

For comparison, an LHA is about 1300 BBLs/day of F-76 so you can make a reasonable extrapolation for
something CVN sized.

In a sane Navy, there would be a unified fuel at sea (JP-5 since the escorts have and will run just fine on it)
so some of the current issues of splitting tanker allocations between two fuels would go away.
 

sferrin

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The Navy has said for FA-XX that they are abandoning stand-in.

Ford was premised on high sortie-generation-rates with comparatively light, medium-sized and by modern standards stand-in
weapons (JSOW, JDAM) and not say something like HAWC (the largest hypersonic weapon that can be accommodated on the elevators) or
even JASSM-XR.

IOW, Ford really isn't designed around moving big standoff weapons around or resupplying them (there's all of one heavy resupply ship).

And if it's just air-to-surface standoff, CLEAVER or arsenal planes or the Air Force heavies are much cheaper than carrier air wings.

And surface-to-surface standoff is post-INF with two services buying lots of long ranged, surface-to-surface munitions.
Given that a typical booster for say the JASSM-XR class weapon is $100,000, the arsenal ship option, IMHO, looks very attractive.

Yeah, none of those can control air/sea space for months at a time, 24/7/365.

Arsenal ships assume the strike and ASuW duties and you go with CVLs for counter-air, fixed-wing ASW and fixed-wing AEW&C.
Arsenal ships have already been found wanting.
 

Cordy

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Of course there has to be a replacement as otherwise carrier numbers will further decline, in law now down to eleven, Esper, Sec of Defense pushing for a further reduction to nine, remember seeing Navy requirement was fifteen.

I said "viable" replacement. If you want to lose capability you can replace it with anything. Even nothing. Don't want to lose capability? Either figure out how to get the costs down or pony up the dough. There is no door #3.

What capability, eg the ~$23 billion Ford, Navy first of class historically include the cost of R&D, it can't fly the F-35C due to reasons the Navy refuses to reveal, limited to the short range F-18E/F, the old A-6E Intruder had a longer operational range in the attack role as did the F-14 Tomcat in the fighter role.

The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level.
 

sferrin

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Of course there has to be a replacement as otherwise carrier numbers will further decline, in law now down to eleven, Esper, Sec of Defense pushing for a further reduction to nine, remember seeing Navy requirement was fifteen.

I said "viable" replacement. If you want to lose capability you can replace it with anything. Even nothing. Don't want to lose capability? Either figure out how to get the costs down or pony up the dough. There is no door #3.

What capability, eg the ~$23 billion Ford, Navy first of class historically include the cost of R&D, it can't fly the F-35C due to reasons the Navy refuses to reveal, limited to the short range F-18E/F, the old A-6E Intruder had a longer operational range in the attack role as did the F-14 Tomcat in the fighter role.

The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level.
$23 billion? Why didn't you just say a trillion?
 

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Of course there has to be a replacement as otherwise carrier numbers will further decline, in law now down to eleven, Esper, Sec of Defense pushing for a further reduction to nine, remember seeing Navy requirement was fifteen.

I said "viable" replacement. If you want to lose capability you can replace it with anything. Even nothing. Don't want to lose capability? Either figure out how to get the costs down or pony up the dough. There is no door #3.

What capability, eg the ~$23 billion Ford, Navy first of class historically include the cost of R&D, it can't fly the F-35C due to reasons the Navy refuses to reveal, limited to the short range F-18E/F, the old A-6E Intruder had a longer operational range in the attack role as did the F-14 Tomcat in the fighter role.

The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level.
$23 billion? Why didn't you just say a trillion?

Just to be clear are you saying the figures for Ford reported by the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, and the GAO, US Government Accountability Office, are pure fiction?
 

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What capability, eg the ~$23 billion Ford, Navy first of class historically include the cost of R&D, it can't fly the F-35C due to reasons the Navy refuses to reveal, limited to the short range F-18E/F, the old A-6E Intruder had a longer operational range in the attack role as did the F-14 Tomcat in the fighter role.

The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level.

----------------------
Just to be clear are you saying the figures for Ford reported by the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, and the GAO, US Government Accountability Office, are pure fiction?


Did those figures say they represent the recurring unit build costs after the yard has the process finalized? Whether you meant it or not, you are presenting it that way.
 

Arjen

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What capability, eg the ~$23 billion Ford, Navy first of class historically include the cost of R&D, it can't fly the F-35C due to reasons the Navy refuses to reveal, limited to the short range F-18E/F, the old A-6E Intruder had a longer operational range in the attack role as did the F-14 Tomcat in the fighter role.

The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level.

----------------------
Just to be clear are you saying the figures for Ford reported by the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, and the GAO, US Government Accountability Office, are pure fiction?


Did those figures say they represent the recurring unit build costs after the yard has the process finalized? Whether you meant it or not, you are presenting it that way.
No he doesn't.
 

fredymac

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What capability, eg the ~$23 billion Ford, Navy first of class historically include the cost of R&D, it can't fly the F-35C due to reasons the Navy refuses to reveal, limited to the short range F-18E/F, the old A-6E Intruder had a longer operational range in the attack role as did the F-14 Tomcat in the fighter role.

The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level.

----------------------
Just to be clear are you saying the figures for Ford reported by the CBO, Congressional Budget Office, and the GAO, US Government Accountability Office, are pure fiction?


Did those figures say they represent the recurring unit build costs after the yard has the process finalized? Whether you meant it or not, you are presenting it that way.
No he doesn't.


Must be that fantastic dictionary of yours again. His last statement:

"The Ford class are so expensive that as previously said limiting number of carriers in fleet to dangerously low level."

It implies that of the $23 Billion, the amount represented in recurring build will cause "dangerous" reductions in unit builds. If you are going to throw out total cost numbers and then impute recurring build costs, you invite the connection between the two.
 

Arjen

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I would urge you to read that again, but I fear that would be pointless. Read into it what you will.
 

fredymac

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I read a negative view of the Ford class and I read a $23 Billion cost number along with forecasts of dangerous reductions. In other words, I read what I find in typical MSM narratives. And we know how you love those.
 

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Cordy was clear enough the ~$23 billion dollar included the R&D bill. Clear enough for me, anyway. Or are you disputing CBO and GAO data? Are they MSM?
 

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Sources of development/R&D and build cost $23 billion plus figure for Ford.

CBO used the Navy’s inflation index for naval shipbuilding to convert the $13.1 billion in nominal dollars to $16.2 billion in 2019, Navy has since increased cost to $13.3 billion in nominal dollars, so now approx $16.5 billion plus the development R&D cost of $6.5 billion per GAO in FY 2020 dollars total $23 billion.

Navy split Ford build into Phases 1 & 2, a Navy sleight of hand as Phase 2 costs were excluded from Congress cost cap which Navy hoped to hit, but they overspent anyway. Navy has not disclosed the additional cost of Phase 2 build for costs and installing Ford’s mission equipment fitted during its 15 month shipyard Post Shakedown Availability, completed March 2019. Minor point as mentioned previously Phase 1 build still not complete as only six of the eleven the elevators operational. Ford build cost if include both Phase 1 and 2 ~ $17 billion?

Sources

CBO “An Analysis of the Navy’s Fiscal Year 2020 Shipbuilding Plan” “The Navy’s current estimate of the total cost of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the lead ship of the CVN-78 class, is $13.1 billion in nominal dollars appropriated over the period from 2001 to 2018. CBO used the Navy’s inflation index for naval shipbuilding to convert that figure to $16.2 billion in 2019 dollars, or 25 percent more than the corresponding estimate when the ship was first authorized in 2008.”
https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2019-10/55685-CBO-Navys-FY20-shipbuilding-plan.pdf
Note - Navy nominal dollars cost of Ford has increased from $13.1 billion to $13.3 billion, May 2020, post the CBO report. Report to Congress on Gerald R. Ford Carrier Program, ship’s procurement cost at $13,316.5 million in then-year dollars. The ship was commissioned into service on July 22, 2017 [LOL]
https://news.usni.org/2020/05/15/report-to-congress-on-gerald-r-ford-carrier-program)

Ford class development costs per GAO. FY2020 dollars - $6.535 billion. PS GAO do not break out Ford procurement cost, just give total for the four carriers. GAO DEFENSE ACQUISITIONS ANNUAL ASSESSMENT Drive to Deliver Capabilities Faster Increases Importance of Program Knowledge and Consistent Data for Oversight Report to Congressional Committees June 2020 GAO-20-439
https://www.gao.gov/assets/710/707359.pdf
 

fredymac

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Cordy was clear enough the ~$23 billion dollar included the R&D bill. Clear enough for me, anyway. Or are you disputing CBO and GAO data? Are they MSM?


MSM narrative: mention some ground fact briefly almost as an aside and then expend the rest of the text on how bad it all is in a manner that leads you to forego any thought on what was in that initial build cost. As for the CBO and GAO, they are not MSM but they work at the direction of politicians in charge and in terms of personnel, they are drawn from the near monolithic political culture that permeates DC.
 

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