Under Pressure, Navy’s Top official Pledges to Solve New Carrier”s Problems

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December 17, 2019 | Originally published by Date Line: December 17 on

The new acting secretary of the Navy said Thursday that President Donald Trump”s concerns over persistent problems with the first Ford-class aircraft carrier have prompted him to make fixing those problems one of his top priorities.

“I was on the [carrier Gerald R. Ford] last week; the Ford is something the president is very concerned about,” Thomas B. Modly told an audience at the annual U.S. Naval Institute Defense Forum Washington. “He talks to us about it a lot, and I think his concerns are justified because the ship is very, very expensive, and it needs to work.”

The advanced $13 billion carrier has been plagued by problems, including glitches with its 11 new weapons elevators, which bring ammunition to the flight deck. The failure to solve many of the issues with the 23 new technologies introduced on the carrier have led to countless delays and still threaten its maiden deployment, which is planned for 2021.

There is a “trail of tears as to why we are where we are, but we need to fix that ship and make sure that it works,” Modly said.