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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    The Pentagon's biggest, baddest, costliest piece of hardware ever (NEW CARRIER)

    The Pentagon's biggest, baddest - and costliest - piece of hardware ever

    By Maxim Lott
    Published September 27, 2013FoxNews.com




    • The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding on 3/31/2011. (Courtesy: Huntington Ingalls Industries) (©2011 Huntington Ingalls Industries)



    • The 1,106-foot-long ship will be christened in November. (Courtesy: Huntington Ingalls Industries) (©2013NewportNewsShipbuilding photo by John Whalen)








    When the USS Gerald R. Ford is finally christened, the massive aircraft carrier will be the biggest and baddest piece of Pentagon hardware ever built - and the most expensive.

    The 1,106-foot ship, under construction in Newport News, Va., has seen cost overruns push its expected price tag up some 22 percent to nearly $13 billion, with new technology dictating changes since work began in 2007. Expected to be christened on Nov. 9, the ship will be able to launch 220 air attacks per day, will hold more than 4,000 sailors, has a nuclear reactor to provide energy, and even comes with stealth features to reduce the ship’s radar profile.

    “No matter how hi-tech or how glamorous, a carrier is vulnerable to a well-placed missile."
    - David Henderson, an economist at the Naval Postgraduate School

    The Navy touts the ship, which will have runways to allow for simultaneous takeoffs and landings, as a landmark advance that “continues the aircraft carrier history of innovation and adaptability.”

    Huntington Ingalls Industries, the maker of the ship, told FoxNews.com that the overall shape of the carrier remains the same as in older models, but that what’s packed into the ship is very different.

    “The structure has been rearranged to accommodate new technology and meet all of the Navy’s operational requirements,” company spokeswoman Beci Brenton said.

    That includes “flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems, and a redesigned smaller island, all resulting in 25 percent more flight missions.”

    The ship’s structure and exterior are now 100 percent complete, Brenton said. But internal connections and features inside the ship are still being added, and the ship will not be commissioned until 2016.

    Despite the impressive features, the carrier gets less-than-rave reviews from government watchdogs.

    “The Navy faces technical, design, and construction challenges to completing Gerald R. Ford that have led to significant cost increases,” the Government Accountability Office wrote in a September 2013 report.

    In addition to cost overruns, the GAO noted the ship is also several years behind schedule.

    “Additional [cost] increases could follow,” the report adds.

    The Navy has responded that “the cost, schedule and technical risks associated with delayed land based testing have been overstated in the GAO draft report” but did not respond to requests from FoxNews.com about details.

    Huntington Ingalls officials told FoxNews.com that the carrier will make some of its cost back due to “increased electrical power generation capacity allowing for future technologies, and a reduced workload for sailors, translating to a smaller crew and lower operating costs for the Navy. Reduced manning and maintenance will result in a savings of $4 billion over the 50-year life of the ship,” the company said in a statement.

    The Navy also plans to buy another three such carriers, at a cost of $43 billion.

    One is slated to be called the USS John F. Kennedy, while others have not yet been named.

    National security experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Brookings Institution, and CATO all told FoxNews.com that they are skeptical about whether the new features are worth the cost.

    “I’m not persuaded they’re worth twice what the old carriers cost,” Michael O’Hanlon, of Brookings, told FoxNews.com.

    But he and others acknowledge the old fleet is getting too old for use, and that having operational carriers is critical.

    “For the kind of threats we face in Iran or most of the world, a carrier is still a decisive element,” Anthony Cordesman, who has served as a consultant for the State and Defense departments and who holds the Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told FoxNews.com.

    “What do we do whenever we have a crisis? We either send a carrier task force or we find ourselves sending ships that have to backed up with carriers,” Cordesman said.

    “If you had to do a count of the number of time carriers have deployed since 1975, it’s pretty damn impressive," he continued. "We aren’t using a land base for a lot of our sorties in Afghanistan, they’re being flown via Pakistan by a carrier. We need to be sure we can operate without being dependent on allies.”

    Others say carriers are not so essential.

    “We can get by with fewer carriers,” CATO's Benjamin Friedman told FoxNews.com. "Great gains in the accuracy of U.S. fighter-borne weapons – due to rapid gains in surveillance and precision targeting -- means that fewer carriers can do what used to take more.”

    He noted that carriers are relatively cost-effective because of their versatility.

    “Aircraft carriers still provide more bang for the buck than other military platform even at these excessive prices,” Friedman said.

    Others go still further.

    “No matter how hi-tech or how glamorous, a carrier is vulnerable to a well-placed missile," said David Henderson, an economist at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. "Pfft -- Oops, there goes a $12 billion carrier.”

    He added that he wasn’t surprised at the price tag.

    “It should not be surprising," he said. "This is, after all, the government spending other people's money.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/27/pentagon-biggest-baddest-and-costliest-piece-hardware-ever/
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    US Carriers: More than the rest of the world combined

    Posted on August 30, 2013 by The Helpful Engineer


    US carrier ref. usmilitary.com

    The US are moving naval forces into position for a possible strike against Syria. So it is a good time to remind ourselves just how much more striking power its aircraft carriers have compared to the rest of the world. In total there are 22 aircraft carriers in service around the world. This excludes amphibious assault ships, as although they might carry aircraft they have a different role, see more here. Of these 22 carriers in the world, the US operate 12.It would seem then that the US Navy has a little over 50% of the Worlds naval carrier strike power. But in fact the US superiority is even more than this.

    This is because US carriers are vastly superior in size and capability to any of the others ships. Therefore using the number of ships is misleading. We need to use different measurements.

    To help to show the difference in capability, we have used charts below to show the comparison based on performance measures. The first shows the worlds navies who operate carriers along with their carriers aircraft capacity. This is to try and measure the power or strike capability of the Navies carrier force. See below:

    So based on the above, the US have approximately 76% of the Worlds carrier launched aircraft. This is an incredible superiority.

    Note: The UK have an aircraft carrier at present but they no longer have planes for it. Instead it is used to launch helicopters.

    But if we compare total aircraft carrier tonnage, the dominance of the US Navy’s carrier force increases to 80% of the worlds total. See below:

    80% of the worlds total is an incredible superiority for one country to have in any area, but particularly with aircraft carriers. Put another way, the US Navy have 4 times more carriers, in tonnage terms, than all the countries in the world combined.

    The UK’s Royal Navy prior to World War one tried to maintain what it called the ‘two power standard’. This meant that the Royal Navy would always aim to have as many battleships as the combined total of the next two biggest navies. This was to try to ensure ensure victory if a war broke out.

    The US Navy seem to now have a ‘one power standard’ i.e. they are maintaining more aircraft carriers then the rest of the world combined. But despite of all this naval hardware, the advent of nuclear bombs/ missiles mean that the US is a lot less secure then the UK was when its navy ruled the waves.

    In the photograph below, taken in Norfolk in the US, there are nearly as many aircraft carriers in that one harbour as there are in the rest of the world combined (ex. US).

    US Navy Aircraft Carriers in Norfolk. Picture from http://blogs.defensenews.com, click address for more

    http://thehelpfulengineer.com/index.php/2013/08/us-carriers-more-than-the-rest-of-the-world-combined/
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    Washington Post
    VIDEO NEWS RELEASE -- Aircraft Carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78 ) Christened ...

    Wall Street Journal - ‎1 hour ago‎
    NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Nov. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Huntington Ingalls Industries' (NYSE:HII) Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division today christened Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78 ), the first ship of the next-generation class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers . . .
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