Questions raised over US’s most advanced carrier’s air defence capability

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford. Photo: AP

A new assessment of the “several design flaws” of the US$13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier is raising concerns within the Pentagon.

The RT channel (Russia) said the new assessment emphasized that the USS Gerald R. Ford “has not yet shown its effectiveness in defending against anti-ship missiles and other threats”.

Bloomberg news agency (USA) has access to a report detailing that the missile interceptor, radar and data diffusion system of the USS Gerald R. Ford performed inconsistently under test conditions, limit the ability to destroy offensive weapons aimed at ships.

The Pentagon’s testing department said an assessment of key systems aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford “identified a design flaw that had not been discovered before.” The assessment states that the ship lacks in neutralizing threats despite possessing a sensor system that does “detect, track, and engage targets”.

Bloomberg said the report with classified information has been circulated within the US Navy. The US Navy has also highlighted areas on the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier that can be upgraded to improve survivability.

According to the report, “only a limited assessment can be made” of the effectiveness of the combat system on board the USS Gerald R. Ford. The Pentagon’s testing office plans to send an interim report to Congress by September 30.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford has faced many questions about reliability since it was delivered to the US Navy four years ago.

In January 2020, a similar report appeared regarding an issue with the take-off and landing system on the USS Gerald R. Ford.

Named after the 38th President of the United States, the USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship of the Ford class of aircraft carriers. Construction of the USS Gerald R. Ford began in 2009.

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