At this moment the nation’s newest and most expensive aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, which cost $13 billion, has two of its four main turbine generators out of commission due to voltage regulators that are incapable of handling the ship’s massive 106-megawatt electrical load. Simultaneously the USS Zumwalt, the Navy’s newest stealth land attack destroyer, which cost $4.3 billion, is also sidelined, owing to saltwater intrusion into the ship’s auxiliary motor-drive oil system. These issues come on top of a series of reports that reveal that six of the first seven littoral combat ships (LCSs) currently in commission are tied to piers because of mechanical failures. The net impact for the Navy is that, in all its fleet, only one surface ship designed after 1985 is operational today. Houston, we’ve got a problem.
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