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USS Ford Powers Though Shock Trial Bombs. Is Ready for War

A Warrior Maven Exclusive Conversation with Industry Experts: David Forster, Chairman, Amphibious Warship Industrial Base Coalition & Rick Giannini, Chairman, Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition

By Kris Osborn - Warrior Maven

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven

Indeed, a couple quick follow ups one, I was impressed by the force performance and shock trials, as you know, there was some discussion about whether there would be shock trials. Sure enough, the survivability based on the assessment are quite positive in terms of its ability to withstand nearby explosions. So given that, what's your sense of additional technological enhancements to the fourth class as they continue to mature?

USS Ford Shock Trials

Chairman, Rick Giannini

Speaking from the supply base, I'm not as versed with technical aspects going forward. What I will say and comment on the the shock test, which was very impressive full ship shock test with very little issues that weren't able to be resolved on the ship itself. 

So from that perspective, outstanding performance, setting us up. What I will say is that going forward, they're going to incorporate newer technologies, along with the whole air-wing. So trying to do things in concert, which should prove to last, you know, for decades to come.

U.S. Navy USS Ford Class Shock Trials

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Completes First Full Ship Shock Trial Event

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven

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That's critical in terms of continued monetization. I'm really glad you made that point. Because the US footprint, the Navy footprint with aircraft carriers, is arguably so dominant globally, in terms of global presence and forward presence will be so key, especially in places like the Pacific but as a follow up, I had an interesting thought about the Ford class because there's so much discussion about delays cost overruns, etc. 

Yet I remember covering it at the time and talking to the program managers. They talked about non recurring developmental costs that because there was the advent of some cutting edge technologies, there were some initial expenses up front to lay the foundational the groundwork for years of modernization. So what is your sense of the cost efficiency moving forward? Because that gets so many eyeballs in Congress?

Chairman, Rick Giannini

That is absolutely right. As you mentioned, it has more technologies than any other carrier brought forward at one point in time. And while yes, there were some delays, and some cost overruns, in comparison to prior carriers, they're a fraction of the overruns.

And I might not be 100%. right, but I know that the majority of the issues found, like over 80% of them were able to be resolved onboard the ship without having to come back in VR. So I would say technically, it's outstanding going forward, it will be it will be a fantastic ship and 79 is definitely lower and 80 and 81 are going to be lower cost yet because of those block buys.


Kris Osborn is the Defense Editor for the National Interest. Osborn previously served at the Pentagon as a Highly Qualified Expert with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army—Acquisition, Logistics & Technology. Osborn has also worked as an anchor and on-air military specialist at national TV networks. He has appeared as a guest military expert on Fox News, MSNBC, The Military Channel, and The History Channel. He also has a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature from Columbia University.

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President

Kris Osborn, Warrior Maven President, Center for Military Modernization