The USS Gerald R. Ford is still bedeviled by serious technical issues, including 20 failures of its aircraft launch-and-landing systems during sea trials. None of the failures, which occurred during a total of 740 launches and landings, caused injuries or damages, the Navy said.
Problematic for years, the ship’s electromagnetic catapults have attracted the interest of numerous critics, including President Trump. Robert Behler, the Pentagon’s director of operational testing, said that the ship will likely fail to meet a key requirement for the number of sorties flown per day. In a memo acquired by Bloomberg News, Behler said that while “improvements have occurred, poor and unknown reliability continues to plague the ship and key systems.”
The Ford was delivered to the Navy in 2017, years behind schedule, and at $13 billion is the most expensive ship ever built.