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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Senators Protest Delay in Survival Test for New Aircraft Carrier

Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)Two of the U.S. Senate’s top lawmakers on defense policy are protesting a Navy decision to postpone for as long as seven years survival testing on its new class of aircraft carriers, the costliest warships ever built.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain and ranking Democrat Jack Reed wrote March 31 to complain that delaying shock tests until the second vessel, which isn’t scheduled for delivery until 2022, while skipping them for the first adds “a great deal of risk in this program.”

Subjecting the first ship, the USS Gerald R. Ford, to “full ship shock trials” would generate data “to validate or improve” survivability, “thereby reducing the risk of injury to the crew and damage to or loss of a ship,” the lawmakers, who are both veterans, wrote the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer Frank Kendall.

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