- Dec 13, 2010
My first ship was under construction at Newport News when I reported in and I spent a total of about 18 months there over the course of that tour so I 'm pretty familiar with how it all fits together. When the Navy placed the contract with Newport News for the Ford, the details of what would be required for F-35 were not known and were not in the contract. As the Navy figured out the requirements, the normal thing is to go to the shipyard to get the contract specs changed to accommodate the changes at which point the shipyard gets to ask for consideration (money and schedule) to accomplish it. As this is often not acceptable to the Navy, it gets pushed out to the yard periods just after Commissioning/acceptance. When the Navy orders the next and follow on ships, the contract/spec is usually a copy of the original baseline and the Navy then asks for the change to be added in at whatever stage that ship is in the process. Often, it ends up later in the process for those ships as well.The EMALS problem has been widely reported. I’m not smart enough to understand how a launch system that doesn’t work replaced time proven and reliable steam.
I’d like to know what modifications are needed to make Ford F-35 capable.
The Navy taking delivery with work still needed and congress raising cost caps lets Newport News off the hook. Even after delivery, the shipyard will be the one finishing the job. This goes way beyond the issues first in class ships always have.
I don't know all of the details but the steam catapults are notoriously "maintenance intensive" and put a huge load onto the steam system onto a ship. Sending that much steam that far from the engineering spaces is kind of a design nightmare as well. There is a lot of benefit to moving this to an electric operation just as the main engines on a lot of newer ships are going to electric as well Have the engineering plant (in this case nuclear) drive generators and then route the resultant power to ship propulsion or the myriad of other uses like heating and the galley that are currently fed by many miles of steam piping.The EMALS problem has been widely reported. I’m not smart enough to understand how a launch system that doesn’t work replaced time proven and reliable steam.