Report: Pentagon Concerned Newest Aircraft Carrier Can’t Defend Itself

Report: Pentagon Concerned Newest Aircraft Carrier Can't Defend Itself USS Gerald R. Ford USS Gerald R. Ford. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Tuesday, 25 January 2022 01:59 PM

The USS Gerald R. Ford "has yet to demonstrate that it can effectively" defend itself against anti-ship missiles and other dangers, according to a report from the U.S. Pentagon’s testing office that was obtained by Bloomberg News.

The results of the assessment show a mixed performance by missile interceptors, as well as its radar and data dissemination systems used on the ship when tested on another vessel, which hampered its ability to eliminate replicas of weapons despite the sensor systems having "satisfactorily detected, tracked and engaged the targets."

The report also notes problems with the aircraft launch and recovery systems, specifically their "poor or unknown reliability," and other tests of key system vulnerabilities "identified several design shortfalls not previously discovered," though it added that "the Navy has already identified several survivability" options to help this class of warship deal with "underwater threat engagements."

Stars and Stripes reported earlier this week that the prime contractor behind the Gerald R. Ford's construction, Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc., is currently negotiating with General Electric Co. over who will pay to cover the cost of repairing a flaw in the warship's propulsion system.

"We are continuing to work on a final agreement with GE to resolve this claim," said a spokesperson for Huntington Ingalls. A spokesperson for GE added, "we continue working with the U.S. Navy and Huntington Ingalls to resolve this issue."