Navy Alerted to Ford-class Carrier Reliability Issues

Navy Alerted to Ford-class Carrier Reliability Issues

A Pentagon weapons report says technologies being developed for the Navy’s new next-generation aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, are not reliable.

In particular, the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, or DOT&E, annual report said the ship’s new catapult, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch Systems, or EMALS, Advanced Arresting Gear, Dual Band Radar and weapons elevators all need more testing and reliability improvement.

The USS Ford, or CVN 78, is slated to complete Initial Operational Test & Evaluation in 2017, a key step before formally deploying in service with the Navy. The DOT&E report finds that key testing and reliability improvements are necessary for this to take place successfully.

“DOT&E assesses that the poor or unknown reliability of these critical systems will pose the most significant risk to CVN-78’s successful completion of IOT&E,” the report says.

“The current reliability estimates for the catapult and arresting gear systems are a small fraction of their projected target for the shipboard configuration, and an even smaller fraction of the required reliability. Reliability test data are not available for the radar and the weapons elevators,” the report states.

Unlike steam catapults, which power airplanes on existing carriers, the EMALS system uses an electromagnetic charge. The EMALS system has been undergoing testing at a site in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The report says 201 launch failures have occurred out of a total of 1,967 launches.

“Based on available data, the program estimates that EMALS has approximately 240 mean cycles between critical failure in the shipboard configuration, where a cycle represents the launch of one aircraft,” the report says.

The report also highlights the Advanced Arresting Gear, or AAG, a technologically improved method of helping aircraft land on the flight deck of the carrier. The AAG is also being tested in Lakehusrt, N.J., and the report says that this system also experiences high rates of failure. There were nine arresting failures out of 71 attempts, the report claims.

“The Program Office estimates that AAG has approximately 20 mean cycles between operational mission failure in the shipboard configuration, where a cycle represents the recovery of one aircraft. Based on expected reliability growth, the failure rate is presently 248 times higher than should be expected,” the report says.

Navy officials say they will continue to work with DOT&E to complete the testing programs and transition the ship to service, however they remain confident in the development of the technologies slated to go on the USS Ford.

“Developmental systems such as EMALS, AAG and DBR are undergoing land based testing to build confidence in system reliability. The Navy remains confident they will exhibit sufficient operational availability to enable full performance,” said Chris Johnson, spokesman for Naval Sea Systems Command.

The USS Ford also has a larger deck space compared to its Nimitz-class predecessor carriers, an effort designed in part to increase the sortie generation rate of aircraft on the ship. The design of the deck space and the island are intended to create a circumstance wherein commanders can get 30-percent more sorties from a Ford-class carrier compared to a Nimitz-class carriers.

The DOT&E report, however, questions this, claiming the Ford-class’ sortie-generation rate numbers are overly optimistic.
“The target threshold (sortie rate) is based on unrealistic assumptions including fair weather and unlimited visibility, and that aircraft emergencies, failures of shipboard equipment, ship maneuvers (e.g., to avoid land), and manning shortfalls will not affect flight operations,” the report states.

Navy officials expressed confidence in the Ford’s expected sortie generation rate.

“Sortie generation rate estimates have been developed through robust modeling and simulation, which the Navy will continue to mature through Initial Operational Test and Evaluation. Model results will be validated by an at-sea test after CVN 78 delivery,” Johnson added. “The Navy is confident that CVN 78 will meet threshold requirements and that the Ford Class will exceed the combat capability of the Nimitz Class.”

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Such an unfortunate name. Glorifying politicians by naming our capital ships after them. Sad. I would have gone for “Lexington” or “Yorktown”.

Yeah, strange to name carrier after Jerry Ford, the man who couldn’t walk and chew gun at the same time.….

Appropriately named, since this new CVN can’t seen to walk and chew gum either.

I wasn’t old enough to know Ford, but he served in the navy in WW2, was the first president never officially elected into office, and took the blame for some bad times already going on in our country.
But I can say one thing for certain, you’ll never see a ship of this stature named “USS Clinton” or “USS Obama”.

Ford =
Fix or Repair Daily
First on Race Day
Found on road, dead
You can see why I like the name, though.…lol.…

Also, how well shielded against EMP is the EMALS?.…

USS FORD = big target. Chinese are building thousands of supersonic/hypersonic, antiship ballistic missiles. Won’t be enough rounds in those CIWS (R2D2) gattling guns and RAM missile launchers to handle saturation attacks (maybe 100 to 150 Chinese missiles per guaranteed CVN kill). And without much of a destroyer/frigate screening force (don’t even dare count LCS), these will be relatively short battles.

Plus, an adversary doesn’t need to prove THEY can win a war. They only need to prove YOU can’t.

Funny, I feel like the last time GAO or someone did an assessment of the technologies, they called most of the technologies reasonably ready to go. What changed?

Hey Taxpayer, I wouldn’t worry too much about the Chinese yet, if they ever get past the “vaporware” stage then we can start to worry a bit

Having a amazing supersonic carrier killer is only useful if it works, and right now they don’t have anything.

Secondly. even if they did have something that that worked reasonable well, the key is targeting and that’s the hardest part, you can’t hit something you can’t target and targeting mean lots of space and other assets. If we get into it with them the first thing we’ll do is take out their “eyes” then they will be shooting blind

Heh —

At least Clinton and Obama are competent. Thats a lot more than anyone will ever say about the guy in the middle: not even *one* GOP presidential candidate even mentioned his name during the entire republican primary season, and not even *one* candidate sought his endorsement.

And the GOP itself even agreed — they tried for four years running to pin the blame for the economic calamity that happened on their watch on Obama, pretending his predecessor didn’t even exist.

Pretty sad…

The GAO is like everyone else in the federal government. They don’t want this defense gravy train to end. When there’s nothing to watch, the watchdogs go hungry.

Yeah, let’s wait until the missiles are inbound to worry about them. There will be plenty of time then.

It’s funny, we were worried about the Soviets even when they were building weapons out of sticks and rocks, but China has siphoned away 1/3 of our industrial might, makes all of our electronics, but everyone scoffs at their capability to make weapons. It’s like it’s the 1970’s again listening to everyone say, “the Japanese can’t make cars, are you nuts?” We never seem to tire of making the same mistakes over and over again.

Obama competent?
Where can I find these drugs your own? Is Obamacare giving them away?

Bush made a lot of mistakes, but for the most part he was competent, as was Clinton, although he made his share of mistakes as well, and more than just his favorite activities in the oval office.

Of course the GAO wants us to have a strong military and thus a reason for them to exist. Is this somehow a bad thing on their part? Or is the GAO now aiding in screwed up these systems or something? I’m not familiar with this AAG system but there are very good reasons to make EMALS and dual band radar work. Or are you going to claim they don’t provide better capabilities?

If a large EMP goes off, I think the state of the carrier’s catapults would be the least of the worries of whoever is in charge of the carrier battle group.

There is nothing an arse-coverer hates more than competent people. Remember its the competent people that makes defense industry incompetents look bad.

Here is a typical story — guy is an programmer at a defense company and stays there for 10 years — gets promoted to senior engineer, then gets promoted to staff engineer. Then he leaves and gets a job as a web programmer for a commercial company.

Why cant a staff engineer with over 10 years experience get more than an entry position at a commercial company ? Because the only skill they picked up was covering up their mistakes, avoiding blame and making excuses.

True story.

Its an electromagnetic rail gun — its EMPing itself every shot. By the looks of the reliability they didn’t worry about it after all.

But listen to Bill… it doesn’t matter because someone else has bigger problems that you can use to avoid blame.

That was the cold war the enemy today is the US taxpayer.

Just another normal project disaster.

EMPing itself every shot? Obviously you failed at science class.

I’m sure it is just as true as all of your other stories, in other words a load of BS.

Think you’ll get more welfare if we gut our military?

I’m betting that they really are worrying about those Chinese missiles — especially since China is looking increasingly belligerent.

But take our LCS gambit as an illustration? Cool ships with a great concept. Thing is, so far as I can tell they are likely to have limited survivability and to have little ability to deliver an offensive blow.

We needn’t assume that because the Chinese are attempting to develop something that they’ll succeed.

We also needn’t necessarily assume that we don’t have a counter to the problem.

I keep remembering hearing how satellites have been dazzled with lasers and I also remember seeing at least one of our ships equipped with a pretty capable laser for at least testing purposes.

I see the new hypersonic Chinese missiles to be problematic but not overly so. So far as I can tell those missiles will have immense technological issues since they seem to contemplate/require high-speed maneuver at altitude.

If they are maneuvering both in order to ensure a course to their target and to evade our counter-measures then they are going to need real-time information either from their own sensors or from external sources.

I’m not sure what temperatures those missiles are going to be dealing with at hypersonic velocities, but I’m betting those temps may be rather high. I suspect that on-board sensor data may already be degraded by temperature issues before we start our countermeasures.

So we mess with their space-borne and lower-altitude sensor data as well as futzing their communications. Now the missile/glide vehicle doesn’t actually know where that carrier is or when to detonate. This would be a substantial problem for them and might explain why our own research into hypersonics may have been curtailed somewhat.

Oh, and now you have blind in-bound ordnance which you still don’t want hitting you even by chance. But if the ordnance can’t maneuver you may be able to hit it relatively cheaply.

But if you already have effective means for neutralizing the potential OPFOR’s developmental weapon system the smartest thing to do is to claim you fear it. Then they will be more likely to spend even more money on the useless stuff instead of developing something actually effective. And they have the happy possibility that fear will lead the taxpayer to spend a whole bunch more money on our developing additional capabilities.

It might also be worth considering that it is not clear that the current Chinese economy and political system can survive much longer. There are some pretty severe structural issues in their economy which I do not believe are sustainable, and there seems to be a potentially explosive unrest in much of the population.

In a few years we may find that China cannot maintain its current forces let alone make substantial developmental strides. Unfortunately, even a collapse of the current system has its own dangers.

And no, I have no special knowledge of how our planners expect to counter the specific Chinese threats. But some of this stuff seems a little overblown. And it may be that the only reason China is developing the capability is to be able to test methods to counter OUR capabilities.

But I speculate and will be happy to hear from others if I am far off base.

Really? You might want to check a few facts here.

Ford was one of the most athletic Presidents we’ve ever had. He was both a football player and a boxer, and a coach for both sports. He also played basketball. He was anything but clumsy.

The whole story of him being a klutz is a media fabrication that ought to serve as a lesson to everyone as to just how wrong and how damaging accepting what the news puts out as ‘fact’ can be.

Do you have a clue as to Ford’s military record, especially as an aviator. It’s one thing to take an elderly man, late 60’s for slipping down slick aircraft steps and then subjected to an SNL skit, but that is less than .001% of the man’s legacy.

You can’t possibly be that small minded.

Have to laugh how clueless Bill is. Yea a rail-gun generates a huge emp from the basic principals of its operation.

But hey I have no doubt that the engineers on the project didn’t bother to worry about it either.

Yep no more clumsy then the average football player or boxer that has taken a few too many hits.
Certainly a genius compared to the dry drunk that was Bush.

very intelligent response HasBeen

Much of what’s been said focuses on the need for the U.S. to take preemptive action when China gets aggressive. What is THEY feel threatened by enough us (which is what we constantly do when we get in other countries face with our super assertive foreign policies) and decide to do us one better and take us out first? George Jr used that rationale to invade Iraq. All they have to do is neutralize us, not win. And that might entail having the workforce to take down our communications and electronics systems so that all OUR sensors and weapon systems don’t work when they finally attack. The writers above somehow think the Chinese and their military are less capable that the American military. We have NO electronic companies in the U.S. anymore and even Apple has its iPhone made by Asians.

EMPing itself implies the guys dealing with electromagnetic compatibility weren’t doing their job. Now unless you happen to be one of those individuals I’m confident they can do their end of the job. If the Navy can test fire a railgun at Mach 7.5 and not fry all nearby electronics you think they can’t do this?

Chinese civilization is over 3,500 years old.…
America is flying strong at 250+yrs plus.…
The Chinese Commies aren’t even 100 yet.…
Yes, I see the AMERICAN EAGLE, the Russian Bear, and the Chinese Dragon,
living together peacefully, if a bit grumpy at times.…
The ADULTS of this Earth need to take away the childrens’
*WAR*TOYS*.…if they can’t learn to PLAY NICE, KIDS.…

My longstanding suggestion has been that all U.S. naval vessels, without exception, be named after members of the American armed forces who gave their lives for their country.

Thanks, William.…
DoD Buzz is a general-interest site, for the general public interested in military matters.…
Is we all here REALLY KNEW what we were talking about, we wouldn’t be here in the first place. We’d be on a “.gov”, or “.mil” website.…
And DoDBuzz isn’t gonna be spilling any classified beans, either.
I’m no electrical engineer, but I may have to watch our children and grand-children go to sea
on this flat-top. I just want to have SOME IDEA what’s going on.
I continue to have FAITH in the younger men and women who serve on the many ships of the U.S.Navy.…
But, yeah, not so much faith in that Military-Industrial-Complex.…
Good stuff, but WAY over-priced.…

It’s so predictable what the Chinese apologists will say, they will inevitably say one of two things

1. The Chinese with their wooden “junks” and tiny Navy is no threat to anyone, they are peaceful and loving to everyone, the U.S. needs stop their aggressiveness against the peace loving Chinese people and don’t intrude with their “re-unification” with Taiwan, therefore the US Navy should “go home.” They will then go on to say we don’t need carriers nor do we even need a Navy

or they will say

2. The Chinese Navy with their super duper hypersonic missiles and massive fleet will sink the US Navy before they get within 5,000 miles, the entire Pacific ocean belongs to China and every landmass in it, this can be “proven” with ancient documents, in fact, China “discovered” America so it belongs to them too. Therefore the US Navy needs to go home. They will go on to say that we don’t need carrier because China will sink them, and in fact we don’t need a Navy at all, because China will sink it.

The once asked a Russian Admiral how much easier it was to not have to worry about a Carrier. This was in the days of RORSAT, multiple regimental raids of Backfires, SSGNs, etc. He responded that the only thing worse than worrying about protecting a carrier was worrying about how to protect yourself from a carrier.

your right on that point, the offensive power of a carrier, it’s mobility, it’s defenses, it’s hardness and persistence is something that is very unique and unmatched, it’s no wonder the Russians and now the Chinese are afraid of them

Go back to the end of the YouTube video interview of PMA251 at Lakehurst after the E-2D had been launched. He plainly says that the first time they tried to launch the E-2D, EMALS failed to launch. EMALS was never cycled to meet the specified consecutive launches without failure.

Yes competent. One guy can’t even get a blowjob without it turning into a national scandal. The other guy can’t even speak intelligently without a teleprompter spoon feeding him his “thoughts” . Without the I.T. boom of the 90’s which Clinton had nothing to do with he’d have NAFTA and financial deregulation as his legacies. Without idiot masses voting for handouts Obama never would have won a first or second term.

I’m no scientist either and you’re right about the whole ‘those who know won’t say’ idea, but electromagnetic energy is everywhere. Although engineers aren’t usually dealing with such a high level of energy, the electronics industry has for a long time have had to deal with electromagnetic interference and similar issues. It isn’t entirely new. I highly doubt the Navy would be investing such large sums of money into this and railguns if they would always fry the electronics if the ship they are placed on.

That or battles etc. You know how we used to name them.

You mean shoving every bit of untested tech into a platform or 3 is a terrible IDEA!

Shocked I tell you SHOCKED!

J, yes they really can be that small minded. Not only a sportsman, but an honored vet, and they will forget the service and the decency of the man and focus on a slip as he came out of a helicopter.

tx, google USS Gabby Giffords. It would make you laugh if you didn’t want to cry so much. We are naming a US Navy ship after Gabby Giffords.


Are we objecting to all politician ship names, or just some of them? Because last I heard, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Carl Vinson, and Theodore Roosevelt were all politicians.

Got that right,driver!

Carl Vinson was an ADMIRAL. What “political” office was he ever elected to.…????…
And, despite being Commander-in-Chief during the Civil War, he never saw actual combat.…
LCS 10 will be the Gabrielle Giffords. It’s Independence-class.…
Nowadays, we can’t even wait for them to DIE, before we name ships after them.
We do, at least, shoot them in the head, first.…

Ford was a collegiate all star (football) as well and started on 2 national championship teams in the ‘30s. He played both offense and defense.

I don’t think there is a valid argument to be made that he wasnt the most athletic president.

Carl Vinson was a POLITICIAN.

Carl Vinson (November 18, 1883 – June 1, 1981) was a United States Representative from Georgia. He was a Democrat and the first person to serve for more than 50 years in the United States House of Representatives. He was known as “The Father of the Two-Ocean Navy”.

The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) is the third United States Navy Nimitz class aircraft carrier and is named after Carl Vinson, a Congressman from Georgia, in recognition of his contributions to the US Navy.

Abraham Lincols, as president, was the Commander-in-Chief during the civil war.

Ford wasn’t an aviator; note in photos of him in uniform there are no wings. He taught elementary navigation, ordnance, gunnery, first aid and military drill at Preflight School, Chapel Hill, NC. In 1943 aboard USS Monterey (CVL-26) he was assistant navigator, athletic officer, and antiaircraft battery officer. He was a football coach at Preflight School, St. Mary’s College of California in 1945, and then at NAS Glenview, IL as Staff Physical and Military Training Officer until early 1946.

Hmm … following in the tradition of the LCS by supplying our Navy with only the best ships available. My question is why are these companies, that obviously lie to the government to get their equipment bought, aren’t being fined and their senior officers thrown in jail for fraud??

Using the EMP to fire a gun, how differett is that from using same techonolgy to launch rollar coasters and no ones cell phone is fried from that at a part?

because you have to kill a few sailors first before anyone notices.

Because the companies are in effect doing what the Navy ask them to.

Imagine if you had a agreement to build a house. Then the person ask for it to be completely self cleaning except for the kitchen says it can only be half the weight it was supposed to add 5 more rooms after you are done building.

The Navy isn’t even sure what it wants. It wanted EMALS, new radar, plasma arc system, new reactors and new crew automation…all to be fielded simultaneously with the Ford.

A more conservative design path would have been to mature these systems well before it was time to build a new class of carrier. This might’ve called for a more intermediate design to replace Enterprise, and /then/ upgrading the next Nim due for refueling with the systems that would eventually go into the Ford. Of course this stretches the development cycle, and brings the impression of slowness instead of agile deployment and rapid procurement.

On paper, so long as every system goes through its paces just in time for completion of the Ford all is well. However, the Ford has other fish to fry, as it presumably requires new subcontractors and a bevy of extra quality control and re-do steps as part of the learning curve.

Depends on how much flux comes off the EMALS system. It would presumably be well-shielded, and as long as there isn’t lots of current in play it shouldn’t destroy major ship systems.

Of course, there’s only one way to test it.

.…with guys like “Malakie” on our side, who needs Al Qaida.…????.…
.…maybe “a few sailors” on the USS Cole should have been more careful with the pyrotechnics, HUH?…
Lead, follow, or GET THE $*&# OUT OF THE WAY!.….

More money wasted by our great Congress and its leaders. The only thing that ever seems to advance is the amount of money they put into their personal accounts as a result of backing the products of the best paying lobbyist.

Right on, blight. The military uses every dollar it gets each year (and then some). So even if they don’t have a real requirement, they’ll fill in the gap with some nitwit idea that’s not ready for prime time. To keep a lid on reality, we just need to take away more of their topline, like 20%, and they’d be forced into better decisions, like what you suggest on the NIMs versus FORDS. The Budget Conrol Act and Sequestration is the perfect mechanism to do that.

You committees are so pathetic. Why was this not found sooner. Just like the F35, you people don’t know what the hell you are doing and it is costing millions in overrun costs as well as getting the items to the front line. Either the thing works or stop it. Shouldn’t take 5 or 6 years to find out. You all are just uneducated in the problems to look for or just plain incompetent!!!!!!!

Blight, you seem to have missed the last GAO report, which highlighted tech immaturity and land based testing delays, lack of realism in calculating SGR, and reliability shortfalls, all of which DOT&E echoed in its latest report. http://​www​.gao​.gov/​a​s​s​e​t​s​/​6​6​0​/​6​5​7​4​1​2​.​pdf

Not sure that it is; to be honest a total restructure at the top of the Navy may be called for. Like any organization throughly rotten at the top some decimation is called for.

Regulations to protect politicos and government workers from private sector wine-and-dine and outright bribery would have to be implemented (though as we know from Fat Leonard, they are still perfectly able to bribe government officials until caught and arrested, whereas bribing politicians remains totally legal)


Not true. We still have electronics companies; Texas Instruments for one without even thinking about it.


There are a few more electronics companies.

I say name the new carrier fleet after our Medal of Honor recipients.

Bravo Zulu to that thought.

Our Medal of Honor recipients deserve better!

The days of the super carrier are numbered, in a world as dangerous as ours, in need of human intelligence and special forces. Building these monsters is foolish and is done for our jet jockeys with the scrambled eggs. A quick way to make flag is to command one of these beasts. They should be renamed VLTs (very large targets).Cruise missiles and smart ordinance along with un-manned flying machines will add to their extinction. (see dreadnought) Better to build a dozen very fast, very lethal vessels, and keep the capital in the bank. I agree the very fast and lethal ships should be named after warriors and not political hacks or rename them after fighting ships like the USS Kitty Hawk CVA63.

yeah, but was he a great president?

William, you see things in reverse. I will admit Pres. Ford took over this country when few wanted to do it at all. HE recovered the country from a disgraced and resigned President a criminal Vice President. Yes he pardoned EX President Nixon but he Kept this country on an even keel. President Bush was inept to say the best for him. I am disappointed in Pres. Obama he doesn’t seem to have the fight to display his country’s anger over the obstructionist Congress.

Did you ever serve in any branch of service?

JAN 17, 1961

The new class of carriers should have been named after the ship that was sacrificed by weapons testing in order to provide damage data for the new ships to be built. That was USS America CV-66. The lead ship would have been named America and then they could have named a later one for Ford if they desired. However the desire to exalt a politician over honoring our country speaks for itself.

They also stuck America onto a class of LHA already.

Or USS Nixon.

Funked Over Rebuilt Dodge

All these things should have been built and tested/evaluated prior to NAVY acceptance. They didn’t build the #1 super carrier around a system of items that weren’t evaluated and tested. nothing worse than building this thing and then finding out that when you need it it fails. Happens every day on the Highways of this nation. Put a big oversized ship in the water with multi billion dollars on it’s roof and have untried/tested equipment fail.…all you will have is a Multibillion dollar cork bobbing around the seas. They should have (if the hadn’t) modified one of the old carriers to do the testing…instead of turning them out to the razor pasture. Big E would have been PERFECT for that!! Wake up generals!! (they must be generals, because ADMIRALS wouldn’t stand for such lame, ineffective evaluation programs) YOU HAVE KILLED THE GOLDEN GOOSE! That is what you do when you decide 400 trillion Razor blades is better than using the best test bed in the world!

I wish the developers of the new cat would done more testing to make sure this thing would work correctly. New tech tends to be sticky if it hasn’t been tested under real world conditions. I hope they made provisions to be able to install a traditional steam catapult in it just encase this doesn’t work out. Step back for sure, but i rather having it functional so the ship can undertake its primary objective, launch aircraft.

china is also building up a carrier fleet themselves. why would they build something that they claim will be obsolete by this ballistic missile?

the Chinese missile will probably cost 100 million plus each easy. as with military contracts, countries order a set amount. ‘we want 100″, they don’t just say ‘keep them coming until we say stop’. then you need to fire off one once in a while to check if they work, a 100 million dollar hole in the water (judging from the JSF, they might even cost 500 million each)

Was stationed aboard Nimitz CVN-68 back in 1988. e sailed all the way from off Portland Oregon to the Sea Of Japan in 3 days and conducted a mock raid on the Russian Naval Base at Vladivostok. We were in the Sea of Japan off Korea for at least a day or two before the Russians found us. We would have totally destroyed their base.
Yes I know that was in 1988. Their tech is the same now while our has improved quite a bit. So yes I would say Carriers are here to stay.

If the days of the Supercarrier are numbered why are so many countries building them or wanting to? In particular the Chinese, with their superduper hypersonic missiles, are already building their first indigenous carrier. Besides if carriers are vulnerable how much more so Air Forces & Armies? After all they have to rely on fixed bases & in the modern digital age their locations are known. Much easier to hit a target that cannot move & their location is known beforehand, you can’t spoof a missile that is fired at a fixed map reference now, can you?.

The supercarriers are invincible … especially when used as a floating airfield off a 3rd world country. I have noted that carriers are not sailed into the tiawain strait recently however they are going into the Persian gulf. This used to be verboden as the carriers were afraid of iran. We have now come to understanding with iran and the carriers sail in gulf occasionally. they are still nervous. Airplanes can fly from carriers with multiple refueling to get to afghanistan and have done so even though we have access to local airfields (to give the navy a mission i feel)

it won’t take long to rip out this untested Cr+p and put tried and true 1950’s technology. Maybe a year or two in dry dock.

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