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Old 03 March 2017, 04:08 PM
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Icon605 New warship "poster child for how you don't build a ship," says ex-Navy secretary

“The Ford is a poster child for how you don’t build a ship,” says Ray Mabus. He was former Secretary of the Navy during the Obama administration.

“They were designing the Ford while they were building it -- not a good way to build a ship,” Mabus says. “This is just a dumb way to build any type of ship, particularly something as big and complicated as a carrier.”

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/uss-gera...avy-secretary/
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Old 03 March 2017, 05:39 PM
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Should redesignate it the USS Boondoggle.
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Old 03 March 2017, 06:29 PM
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No, instead of "Ford", they should have named it "Edsel".
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Old 04 March 2017, 10:59 AM
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France

To be fair, the french carrier Charles de Gaulle got into quite a few problems of her own during the trial phases, from a flight deck that was too short to too breakable propellers. Comedians had a field day with that poor ship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French...rles_de_Gaulle
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Old 04 March 2017, 01:22 PM
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Ha, agile methodology has struck defence procurement now, has it?
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Old 04 March 2017, 01:22 PM
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He talks about it as if he wasn't just the longest-serving SECNAV since WWI, serving for the entire period of the ship's construction. I'll grant that the ship was ordered, the die cast so to speak, before his term, and many of the faults no doubt can be traced back to the contracting process but if CBS' representation of his statements is accurate, it's as if he was powerless to influence the ships construction at all.

He was a bit too close to the decision-making process over the last eight years to be able to wash his hands of it now, IMHO.
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Old 04 March 2017, 04:39 PM
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"He was former Secretary of the Navy. . ."

[head-desk]

I miss copy editors.
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Old 05 March 2017, 12:22 AM
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it's hard to get on board with calling it a boondoggle when there wasn't any discussion of any problems that might have been caused by the process. Is it not seaworthy or something?
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Old 05 March 2017, 12:35 AM
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Lots of new/untested technology, including the catapults to launch and the traps to recover aircraft that are still not reliable enough to allow the ship to handle fixed wing aircraft. The ship also relies heavily on automation to reduce crew size, but the Navy has never been particularly good at automation. And it's hard to make electronic systems that can withstand shock associated with even minor battle damage.

It's not just improvements on existing technology like better steam catapults, for instance, they are actually trying to use a linear induction motor to launch aircraft.
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Old 05 March 2017, 12:38 AM
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I see.  
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Old 05 March 2017, 03:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASL View Post
Lots of new/untested technology, including the catapults to launch and the traps to recover aircraft that are still not reliable enough to allow the ship to handle fixed wing aircraft. The ship also relies heavily on automation to reduce crew size, but the Navy has never been particularly good at automation. And it's hard to make electronic systems that can withstand shock associated with even minor battle damage.

It's not just improvements on existing technology like better steam catapults, for instance, they are actually trying to use a linear induction motor to launch aircraft.
But surely all the new technology was tested in other platforms before it had an entire ship designed around it?
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Old 05 March 2017, 03:19 AM
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Not on a ship that was actually intended for combat. And not all together on the same ship.
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Old 05 March 2017, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by me, no really View Post
But surely all the new technology was tested in other platforms before it had an entire ship designed around it?
No. And while there are land-based prototypes for many of them, some only existed as computer simulations before they were built on Ford (its propulsion plant, totally different from the Nimitz's design, for instance). One thing people don't get about ships, especially ships like the Nimitz-class, designed in the 1960s with the namesake launched in the 1970s, is that while they were built to last 50 years, they didn't foresee the demand for huge amounts of electrical power that the systems on a carrier like Ford would require. The EMALS (catapult system) and the radar in particular are massive power sumps. One of these days we may even have rail guns (being tested on land still) and lasers (small prototypes tested at sea already) on ships. And who knows where we will be in 50 more years. IMS, the original plan for the last of the Nimitz-class, Bush, was to have EMALS on that, but the technology was still not far enough along to do so (obviously: it's not even far enough right now and Ford has already been built and is due to commission in a few months).

As far as the reliability of other systems in battle, it's important, and a bit shocking, to realize that the US Navy hasn't been involved in sustained combat operations at sea, involving ships taking hits, since WWII. There were some sparse interactions with mines, shore batteries, and the occasional missile during Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf, and in between, but nothing like WWII or, for that matter the British experience in the Falklands (which was itself quite some time ago).

That doesn't mean there is no data, of course: there have been collisions, major fires, and plane crashes over the decades but not the open-kimono to keep the Navy's shipbuilding programs grounded that a major war at sea would entail. In WWII, for instance, many critical vulnabilities in weapons design, ship construction, training, and tactics had to be overcome at the war's onset and we had the benefit of watching other major powers blunder first to increase our lead time. The difference, though, is we can't pump out ships like we used to. Not the ships we have now and not with the infrastructure we have now. If there is another war at sea, it could well be over before a new carrier is designed and launched with lessons learned incorporated.

Anyways, we could talk all day about the nuances of the Ford's construction and shipbuilding over the last 50 years, but this is about all I can stand posting on a tablet.
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