A persistent power generation problem has delayed the delivery of a new U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford. A recent memo from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus stated that the power-generation problem that surfaced months ago remains a concern. Mabus said the problem "must be addressed prior to ship's delivery" and was "likely due to a manufacturing defect."
The memo said "the nation's leading experts on shipboard power generation systems are working (on a) resolution of these issues with a priority on safe, reliable system performance while balancing cost and schedule considerations."
According to a report from The Daily Press, the Ford is the first of a new carrier class, packed with new technology. Built by Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries, its construction is essentially complete.
An electrical problem surfaced on the night of June 12, when personnel detected a burning smell on the ship. It was first reported to the Daily Press as coming from an electrical cable connection. A second problem was detected some weeks later.
The Ford experienced "two main turbine generator issues" during the last several months. It did not affect the ship's nuclear reactor plant. "We are currently developing repair plans and gathering materials needed to effect in-place repairs of the MTGs (main turbine generators)," according to Capt. Thurraya Kent, a Navy spokeswoman.