CVN 78 sea trials delayed

First Ford Class carrier (CVN 78) heads for the outfitting pier at Newport News Shipbuilding First Ford Class carrier (CVN 78) heads for the outfitting pier at Newport News Shipbuilding

SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 — Sea trials for the first-in-class nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) are being delayed. In a statement issued yesterday, the Navy said it had "identified a slight deterioration in the required progress on the CVN 78 shipboard test program.

The Navy and shipbuilder, Newport News Shipbuilding had scheduled a delivery date of March 31, 2016 for the ship. That will now likely slip  to mid- or late-May.

In its statement yesterday, the Navy said "the sea trial schedule will be delayed about six to eight weeks. The exact impact on ship delivery will be determined based on the results of sea trials.The Navy called the delay a "prudent step" providing "the most affordable path to delivery. All the work and any associated schedule delays are being managed within budget and below the $12,887 million cost cap."

The Navy did not say what particular part of the test program has gotten behind schedule.

It did note that significant progress to date has been made on CVN 78, including:

  • EMALS testing was successfully completed on the bow catapults and proceeding on schedule to complete in November on the waist catapults
  • The crew moved aboard as scheduled in August and is living and feeding aboard. Compartment turnover to the crew remains on track.
  • Dual Band Radar (DBR) testing has commenced including initial energization of Multifunction Radar/ Volume Search Radar (MFR/VSR) array faces
  • The propulsion plants have completed their non-critical steaming program and are preparing for their critical test program

CVN 78 is 93% complete.

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