MCCAIN IS ‘CLOSELY TRACKING’ FORD AIRCRAFT CARRIER LAUNCH GLITCH
By Tony Capaccio and Holly Rosenkrantz
(Bloomberg) — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain says he continues “to be concerned but, sadly, not surprised with emergence of new technological challenges” with the carrier class.
- McCain in an e-mail commented on Bloomberg story reporting that Navy’s top warplanes can’t be launched off its newest aircraft carrier if they’re carrying fuel tanks needed to extend their flight range because ship’s high-tech catapults cause too much wear.
- Armed Services committee “is closely tracking this issue with the Navy and industry,” McCain says of latest issue with the most expensive warship ever at $12.9b.
- Navy says it has funded program to find solution to stress problem generated by General Atomics “electromagnetic launch system,” and will have new software installed on carrier by March 2016 delivery.
- Note: Naval Air Systems Command report last September said “the overstress condition will eliminate the employment of external fuel tanks” that are “an essential element” of combat loads for many Super Hornets and most Growler jammer jets.