US Aircraft carrier has more launcher problems and another 7 month and $500 million delay for the F35 stealth fighter

1. The US Navy is having difficulties with its latest aircraft carrier’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS) – the same system which the UK mooted fitting to its new Queen Elizabeth-class carriers.

The US Department of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOTE) revealed yesterday, in its end-of-year report [PDF] for financial year 2016, that the EMALS fitted to the new nuclear-powered carrier USS Gerald R. Ford put “excessive airframe stress” on aircraft being launched.

This stress “will preclude the Navy from conducting normal operations of the F/A-18A-F and EA-18G from CVN 78”, according to DOTES, which said the problem had first been noticed in 2014.

The new Ford carrier is already 2 years behind schedule

2. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has been delayed again and will cost at least $500 million more, according to correspondence between the Pentagon and the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) revealed Tuesday afternoon that the Defense Department had confirmed the seven-month delay in the F-35’s system development and demonstration phase, or SDD. McCain has long been a harsh critic of the F-35 program for its delays and accompanying cost overruns, and President-elect Donald Trump has more recently took aim at Lockheed Martin’s development of the fifth-generation stealth fighter jets for its “out of control” costs.

The F-35 program’s budget has nearly doubled to $400 billion since Lockheed Martin first unveiled it 15 years ago, making it the Pentagon’s most costly acquisitions program.

Senator John McCain demanded that the contractor “reveal its plans” to drive down costs to members of Congress.

SOURCES- Register UK, Free Beacon, US Department of Operational Test and Evaluation

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