The launch of the Navy’s next aircraft carrier has been delayed from July to November.
The delay comes weeks after the Navy and Newport News Shipbuilding moved the Gerald R. Ford’s delivery from September 2015 to early 2016, according to the Navy Times.
The Ford is the first of a new class of carriers, the first new design since the mid-1960s. The 100,000-ton ships are also the first to be entirely designed using computer-aided design technologies.
The shipbuilder released the following statement on the delays:
“Working closely with the Navy, we have revised the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) launch date from July 2013 to November 2013. Although actions to resolve first-of-class issues have retired significant schedule risks, the revised launch date allows increased outfitting and ship construction that are most economically done prior to ship launch.
“As the first new design carrier beginning construction in more than 40 years, CVN 78 is designed to provide increased capability and reduced total ownership cost by about $4 billion compared to Nimitz-class carriers. For this first-of-class ship, construction commenced in parallel with design completion based on earlier decisions at [the] Department of Defense. Ongoing design during the construction process caused delay and inefficiencies in procurement, manufacturing, and assembly.
“We have demonstrated that delaying launch (and therefore delivery) to allow for increased outfitting and construction prior to launch is the most economical path forward to deliver the tremendous capability and affordability improvements resident in Ford. “
More on the Ford:
Newport News Shipbuilding completes USS Gerald R. Ford flight deckIsland lifted aboard the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier
Construction of Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier reaches milestone