At a House hearing a little more than a year ago, Rep. Elaine Luria criticized the Navy’s newest, most expensive aircraft carrier to date, calling it a “nuclear powered floating barge that’s not deployable.”
Those comments started a verbal sparring match with then-Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer over the USS Gerald R. Ford, which had been a thorn in the Navy’s side after years of delays, cost overruns, and technological glitches.
Even President Donald Trump weighed in on Ford’s struggles, declaring after visiting the ship in 2017 that its state-of-the-art electromagnetic aircraft launch system, known as EMALS, was “no good,” and calling for a return to the steam-powered system used for decades on Nimitz-class carriers.
But Ford’s fortunes appear to have turned, and its crew has been making up for lost time.
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