World’s most expensive warship FINALLY hits the water as US Navy tests out new £10billion supercarrier after being dogged by delays and ‘reliability issues’.
The mammoth USS Gerald R. Ford warship, which took six years to build, was spotted being put through its paces for the first time on Saturday. The £10billion US Navy ship was put through its paces on Saturday off the coast of Virginia.
The USS Gerald R. Ford ship underwent the first of its sea trials to test its numerous state-of-the-art systems.
The aircraft carrier left Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News after more than a year in delays and extra costs.
Construction for the Ford, which was projected to set the Navy back by £8.4billion, started in 2009.
The warship was supposed to be finished in September 2015, but ended up taking over a year and a half longer, with a final bill of £10billion.
The firm tasked with building the Ford faced issues with its advanced systems and technology, including aircraft landing equipment and power generation.
Nearly 5,000 shipbuilders were involved in the warship’s construction, with the finished product weighing almost 100,000 tonnes.
It boasts a five-acre flight deck, can transport 4,660 personnel and 75 aircraft.
The ship, which was designed using 3D computer modelling, is capable of reaching speeds upwards of 34mph thanks to its two nuclear reactors.
It is capable of launching 220 airstrikes a day – or one every six minutes – and is 1,106 feet long.
The ship is able to launch so many airstrikes thanks to electromagnetic force, which propels the jets forward.
The Ford will also appear almost invisible to enemy radar detectors.
The £10billion ship is currently being put through builder’s trials, and will return to its home in Virginia before leaving soon after for “acceptance trials”, set to be conducted by Navy inspectors.
The preliminary test on Saturday comes almost a full year after “poor or unknown reliability issues” were revealed in a military memo in 2016.
The June 28 memo explained how the issues would impact it at sea.
Defence Department Director of Operational Test and Evaluation Michael Gilmore wrote to Pentagon and Navy weapons buyers: “These four systems affect major areas of flight operations.
“Unless these issues are resolved, which would likely require redesigning, they will significantly limit the CVN-78’s ability to conduct combat operations.
“Based on current reliability estimates, the CVN-78 is unlikely to conduct high-intensity flight operations at the outset of a war.”