Author Topic: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’  (Read 2081 times)

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Offline Dimsum

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I mean, I *guess* this is direct democracy at work?   ::)

Quote
(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump told U.S. troops stationed in Japan he plans to order traditional steam powered catapults aboard American warships instead of newer electromagnetic systems that he said may not work as well during wartime.

Trump polled the sailors and Marines on the USS Wasp on steam versus electric catapults Tuesday during a visit to the the Yokosuka naval base south of Tokyo, the biggest overseas U.S. naval installation.

The tour came at the end of the president’s four-day state visit to Japan, a key military ally. The troops’ cheers were audibly larger for steam catapults — used to launch aircraft off navy ships — and Trump took note.

“We’re spending all that money on electric and nobody knows what it’s going to be like in bad conditions,” he said. “So I think I’m going to put an order — when we build a new aircraft carrier, we’re going to use steam.”

The U.S. Navy intends to buy two Ford-class aircraft carriers Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said earlier this year. The Ford has long been a source of frustration for Trump, who has bashed the carrier’s Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, which is replacing the steam catapults.

Trump told the Japan base personnel that steam catapults work better than the newer, higher-tech systems.

“Steam’s only worked for about 65 years perfectly. And I won’t tell you this because it’s before my time by a little bit, but they have a $900 million cost overrun on this crazy electric catapult,” he said. “They want to show — next, next, next. And we all want innovation, but it’s too much.”

https://nationalpost.com/news/world/trump-says-u-s-aircraft-carrier-design-is-wrong-plans-to-replace-with-steam-catapults?fbclid=IwAR1pjdiKNLk9nBpgONxmRNm2Dcl6yM4rKoY35o9UQqrDVkUrDvRy3slNXw4#Echobox=1559078609
Philip II of Macedon to Spartans (346 BC):  "You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Reply:  "If."

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 19:16:36 »
Well, he did introduce the innovation of the house losing to casino management...
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 19:35:22 »
The USN has had problems with the electric catapualts so steam makes sense. One day they will solve the problem until then the USN will use steam.

Offline boot12

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 19:49:52 »
Regardless of any teething problems with an electric system (not my wheelhouse), the main issue here IMO is that this is another example of Trump dramatically overstating his expertise in a particular area. Presumably, the USN employs at least a small handful of engineers and project management experts who are better equipped to handle new capability introduction, so why is any politician interfering to this extent?

This is really just another example to add to the pile of unwarranted claims to expertise:

Quote
1) Renewables: "I know more about renewables than any human being on Earth." — April 2016

2) Social media: "I understand social media. I understand the power of Twitter. I understand the power of Facebook maybe better than almost anybody, based on my results, right?" — November 2015

3) Debt: "Nobody knows more about debt. I'm like the king. I love debt." — May 2016

4) Taxes, again: "I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world. Nobody knows more about taxes." — May 2016

5) Banking: "Nobody knows banking better than I do" — February 2016

6) Wall Street bankers:

MATT LAUER: You're a guy who said you know the Wall Street bankers better than anyone.

TRUMP: Better than anyone.

— April 2016 on NBC's "Today" show


7) Money: "I understand money better than anybody. I understand it far better than Hillary, and I'm way up on the economy when it comes to questions on the economy." — June 2016

8 ) The U.S. system of government: "I think nobody knows the system better than I do." — August 2016

"I am a person that used to be establishment when I'd give them hundreds of thousands of dollars. But when I decided to run, I became very anti-establishment, because I understand the system than anybody else." — July 2016

9) Campaign contributions: "I used to be, George, the fair-haired boy — you know, when I was a contributor. I know more about contributions than anybody." — November 2015

10)Politicians: "Nobody knows politicians better than Donald Trump." — February 2016 rally

11) Sen. Cory Booker: If Cory Booker is the future of the Democratic Party, they have no future! I know more about Cory than he knows about himself. — Jul 25, 2016

12) Trade: "Nobody knows more about trade than me." — March 2016

13) Jobs: I hope all workers demand that their @Teamsters reps endorse Donald J. Trump. Nobody knows jobs like I do! Don’t let them sell you out!

14) Infrastructure: "Nobody in the history of this country has ever known so much about infrastructure as Donald Trump." — July 2016

15) The military: "There's nobody bigger or better at the military than I am." — June 2015 Fox News interview
 
16) ISIS: "I know more about ISIS [the Islamic State militant group] than the generals do. Believe me." — November 2015

17) Defense — and offense: "So a general gets on, sent obviously by Obama, and he said, 'Mr. Trump doesn't understand. He knows nothing about defense.' I know more about offense and defense than they will ever understand, believe me. Believe me. Than they will ever understand. Than they will ever understand." — July 2016

18) The 'horror of nuclear': "There is nobody who understands the horror of nuclear more than me." -- June 2016

19) The visa system: "Because nobody knows the system better than me. I know the H1B. I know the H2B. Nobody knows it better than me." -- March 2016

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/04/17-issues-that-donald-trump-knows-better-than-anyone-else-according-to-donald-trump/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c56765fc657b

Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 20:47:16 »
Imagine the horror....higher-ups listening to and heeding the advice of the people who actually do the job.
So freakin' un-Canadian in every sense.
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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 21:02:54 »
The USN has had problems with the electric catapualts so steam makes sense. One day they will solve the problem until then the USN will use steam.

Happened to be listening to the Julie Mason  show on this afternoon and she had Ward Carrol, a Director with the United States Naval Institute (USNI) who discusses this same issue. Go to the 2:12:38 mark to start to listen (Carrol also talks about other issues such as new technology, pardoning of US personal accused of war crimes, etc).

Related article from USNI;

Quote
Experts: Navy Would Spend Billions to Answer Trump’s Call to Return Carriers to Steam Catapults
By: Ben Werner
May 28, 2019 4:49 PM • Updated: May 28, 2019 7:28 PM

President Donald Trump again called to install steam catapults on future aircraft carriers, in a move experts say would cost billions of dollars and reduce the capital ships’ capabilities.

Trump, who has been critical of the Ford-class carriers’ new electromagnetic aircraft launch system (EMALS) system, said he prefers the steam-powered catapults found on the older Nimitz-class CVNs. He again called on the Navy to revert back to the old technology while speaking to naval forces in Japan over the Memorial Day weekend.

Tuesday, while visiting sailors and Marines aboard amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD-1), Trump faulted EMALS for causing delays and cost overruns on the first-in-class USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78).

“We’re spending all that money on electric, and nobody knows what it’s going to be like in bad conditions,” Trump said in his speech. “I’m going to just put out an order, we’re going to use steam.”

However, installing steam catapults on a Ford-class hull is not so simple. Ford-class hulls were designed to accommodate an entire power system that doesn’t rely on steam pipped throughout the ship. Instead, the power generated from the nuclear reactors drive turbines that power a shipwide electrical grid. Space on the ships is allocated differently because there’s no need for all the steam piping found on Nimitz-class ships.

“The Navy would have to spend several billion dollars to redesign the ship,” Bryan Clark, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told USNI News on Tuesday.

More than a decade ago, the Navy spent $1.3 billion on Ford-class design work, according to the Northrop Grumman 2006 annual report. Northrop Grumman later spun off its shipbuilding business into what is now Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Ford-class builder.

The Navy would have to look at USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77), the last Nimitz-class carrier built, for design ideas. But the Navy can’t just use old Nimitz-class plans because of other new technologies developed since Bush was built, Clark said. The Navy would need to create a Ford-class and Nimitz-class hybrid.

The Navy does have some time before needing a new carrier plan. Ford has already delivered and the next carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), is due to be christened later this year. Next in line is Enterprise (CVN-80), which is already too far along in construction to try installing a steam catapult system, while the yet-to-be-named CVN-81 was paid for as part of a block buy with Enterprise and will be identical to Enterprise, retired Capt. Tal Manvel told USNI News. Manvel was part of the Ford-class design effort a decade ago.

The first chance for steam catapults would be CVN-82, Manvel said, “which isn’t scheduled to begin construction until 2028.”

Other considerations include the Navy’s other planned big-ticket purchases, Manvel said. The Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarine program and proposed medium and large surface combatant programs will all require billions of dollars of design work. Manvel isn’t sure there would be much of an appetite on Capitol Hill to also fund re-inventing a ship class that just entered production.

Cost aside, Clark and Manvel said there are capability-driven reasons to stick with the Ford-class design.

The Ford class incorporates new technologies designed for ships that are not configured to accommodate steam. An example, Clark said, is directed energy. If laser weapons, which require a significant amount of power to operate, are put on a ship with steam catapults, operating both becomes a problem, he said. But a ship that is optimized to produce electrical power could operate the flight deck and a laser weapon.

Long-term, the Ford-class design is supposed to save the Navy money over the life of the ship compared to the cost of operating Nimitz-class carriers, according to a May Congressional Research Service report.

“The Ford-class design uses the basic Nimitz-class hull form but incorporates several improvements, including features permitting the ship to generate more aircraft sorties per day, more electrical power for supporting ship systems, and features permitting the ship to be operated by several hundred fewer sailors than a Nimitz-class ship, reducing 50-year life-cycle operating and support (O&S) costs for each ship by about $4 billion compared to the Nimitz-class design, the Navy estimates,” the CRS report states.

EMALS is easier than steam catapults to calibrate for different types of aircraft, which becomes essential as the Navy moves toward incorporating lighter unmanned aircraft into the air wing, Manvel said.

“EMALS works,” Manvel said. “Still has some wrinkles to smooth out, but it works well.”

Article link
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 21:07:04 by Retired AF Guy »
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 22:22:56 »
Great article which presented the problem of using stea, on ships not designed for steam.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2019, 22:49:24 »
Great article which presented the problem of using stea, on ships not designed for steam.

It also says,

Quote
Space on the ships is allocated differently because there’s no need for all the steam piping found on Nimitz-class ships.

Cost aside, Clark and Manvel said there are capability-driven reasons to stick with the Ford-class design.

The Ford class incorporates new technologies designed for ships that are not configured to accommodate steam. An example, Clark said, is directed energy. If laser weapons, which require a significant amount of power to operate, are put on a ship with steam catapults, operating both becomes a problem, he said. But a ship that is optimized to produce electrical power could operate the flight deck and a laser weapon.

Long-term, the Ford-class design is supposed to save the Navy money over the life of the ship compared to the cost of operating Nimitz-class carriers, according to a May Congressional Research Service report.

“The Ford-class design uses the basic Nimitz-class hull form but incorporates several improvements, including features permitting the ship to generate more aircraft sorties per day, more electrical power for supporting ship systems, and features permitting the ship to be operated by several hundred fewer sailors than a Nimitz-class ship, reducing 50-year life-cycle operating and support (O&S) costs for each ship by about $4 billion compared to the Nimitz-class design, the Navy estimates,” the CRS report states.

EMALS is easier than steam catapults to calibrate for different types of aircraft, which becomes essential as the Navy moves toward incorporating lighter unmanned aircraft into the air wing, Manvel said.








Offline Remius

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2019, 08:59:04 »
Regardless of any teething problems with an electric system (not my wheelhouse), the main issue here IMO is that this is another example of Trump dramatically overstating his expertise in a particular area. Presumably, the USN employs at least a small handful of engineers and project management experts who are better equipped to handle new capability introduction, so why is any politician interfering to this extent?

This is really just another example to add to the pile of unwarranted claims to expertise:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/10/04/17-issues-that-donald-trump-knows-better-than-anyone-else-according-to-donald-trump/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c56765fc657b

It's an exhaustive list but to be honest this last statement on steam for aircraft carriers isn't at all in the same category of those other statements.  It actually looks like he listened to someone.  Maybe he's interfering because some of the experts asked him to? 

this isn't an example of Trump thinking he knows better.  He's got plenty of those.  this one should not make the list.
Optio

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2019, 09:59:18 »
I don't know what the right answer is.

I would point out though that:

Engineers get wedded to their ideas;
Project managers get promoted for delivering their projects;
Billion dollar mistakes are not unknown.
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Offline Spencer100

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2019, 12:33:37 »
https://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htnavai/articles/20190526.aspx

Worse, due to a basic design flaw, if one EMALS catapult becomes inoperable, the other three catapults could not be used in the meantime as was the case with steam catapults. This meant that the older practice of taking one or more steam catapults offline for maintenance or repairs while at sea was not practical. The navy admitted that in combat if one or more catapults were rendered unusable they remained that way until it was possible to shut down all four catapults for repairs. During the initial at-sea tests the EMALS failed once every 75 aircraft launches. The standard for steam catapults is one failure every 4,166 launches. The landing and recovery system also had reliability problems, failing once every 76 landings, which is far below the standard of one failure per 16,500 landings. In effect, these problems with launching and recovering aircraft make the Fords much less effective than the older Truman (and other Nimitz class CVNs). The navy has long had a growing problem with developing new ships and technology and the Ford is the worst example to date. With no assurance as to when and to what extent the launch and recovery systems would be fixed (and be at least as effective as the older steam catapults) the navy was overruled and told to keep the Truman.

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2019, 15:42:11 »
Just thinking - worst case scenario they can turn the Fords over to the Marines and equip them with F35Bs and Helos.  The EMALS would supply a secondary fixed wing capability until they can get the bugs worked out.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2019, 15:56:12 »
What I find interesting is that president Trump took his alleged "survey" on the USS Wasp. Now the US practice is to specialize its personnel so they are top class in their field, usually much narrower however than thee field of personnel in other nations navies. One such aspect of specialization is that US Navy personnel tends to spend most of their career in the same type of ship. The Cruiser/Destroyer/Frigates people spend their career in those types, the Air personnel spend their career in aircraft carrier and the "gator" sailors spend their days in the gator navy. Moreover, the gator navy is manned by the surface warfare community - not the aircraft carrier community.

So, while there may have been some aircraft carrier types in the crowd on the Wasp, by and large, the greatest number of naval personnel; or Marines serving on board would have never sailed in an aircraft carrier in their whole life. What they know about the "steam" over "emals" debate is likely very limited, if anything at all.

The simple matter of not knowing such a fact about the US Navy is not reflecting well on the President, in my book.

Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2019, 16:19:07 »
What I find interesting is that president Trump took his alleged "survey" on the USS Wasp. . . .

While he may have chatted with sailors while recently aboard Wasp, the President first railed against "digital" catapults on aircraft carriers two years ago.

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-navy-catapult-system-time-interview-2017-5
Quote
'You going to goddamned steam': Trump rails against the Navy's new catapult system

Paul Szoldra   May 11, 2017, 11:21 AM

President Donald Trump apparently doesn't like digital.

In an  interview with Time magazine published Thursday, Trump railed against what he called a "digital catapult system" the Navy was using on the USS Gerald R. Ford.

The  futuristic aircraft carrier, which began sea trials in April, uses an electromagnetic aircraft-launch system, which  reduces maintenance costs and can speed up the launch of aircraft, among other benefits.

Here's what Trump told Time's Zeke Miller:

"You know the catapult is quite important. So I said, 'What is this?' 'Sir, this is our digital catapult system.' He said, 'Well, we're going to this because we wanted to keep up with modern [technology].' I said, 'You don't use steam anymore for catapult?' 'No sir.' I said, 'Ah, how is it working?' 'Sir, not good. Not good. Doesn't have the power. You know the steam is just brutal. You see that sucker going, and steam's going all over the place, there's planes thrown in the air.'

"It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it's very complicated. You have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said — and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said, 'What system are you going to be' — 'Sir, we're staying with digital.' I said, 'No you're not. You going to goddamned steam. The digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it's no good.'"

Trump  visited the Ford in March, giving a speech from the deck in which he talked about the need for an increase to the defense budget. It's unclear whether Trump's order to someone on board to use steam-powered catapults will be carried out.

A Navy spokeswoman could not immediately comment when reached by Business Insider.

He probably saw the flight deck on Wasp and remembered the Ford.

 
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2019, 15:43:22 »
Ford-class carriers have problems way beyond Trump:

Quote
Congress Unhappy With Ford-Class Inability to Deploy With F-35 Fighters

The Navy’s newest aircraft carriers are being delivered without the capability to deploy with the service’s most advanced fighters, a situation lawmakers call unacceptable.

The House Armed Services seapower and projection forces subcommittee included in its Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act mark language a prohibition for the Navy to accept delivery of its next Ford-class carrier, John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), unless the carrier can deploy with F-35C Lighting II Joint Strike Fighters, a committee staff member said during a media briefing Monday. The carrier is expected to be christened by the end of 2019.

Cost caps imposed by Congress on the Ford-class program to keep the price of these ships from escalating have accomplished the opposite effect, with the Navy accepting delivery of unfinished carriers and intending to pay more money later on to add critical capabilities in the future, the committee staff member said.

“CVN-79 will not be able to deploy with F-35s when it’s delivered to the Navy as a direct result of that cost cap. So when that cost cap was imposed, the Navy traded that capability off and chose to build that back in on the back end,” the committee staffer said. “That’s unacceptable to our members that the newest carriers can’t deploy with the newest aircraft.”

Making the carriers able to deploy with F-35s was just one example of work deferred until after delivery, the staffer said. Some capabilities are installed during post-shakedown availability (PSA), in a growing trend that is among the reasons Ford‘s PSA is running several months over schedule. Other capabilities are delayed until regularly scheduled maintenance availabilities even later in the ship’s life.

Last week, the Navy’s top weapons buyer conceded USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) would not have all of its advanced weapons elevators working when the ship leaves its PSA in October. Currently, only two of 11 weapons elevators work properly, and when the ship leaves the yard in the fall it will depart with only some elevators working, Navy acquisition chief James Geurts told reporters last week.

“We are working right now with the fleet on what elevators do we need to have complete so they can exercise all the function in October, and for any of that work that isn’t done, how we’re going to feather that work in over time,” Geurts said last week.

By delaying work on ships to satisfy spending caps, seapower subcommittee members are concerned the Navy is causing the overall price of these capital ships to increase dramatically. Any cost savings gleaned from production efficiencies are lost when capabilities are added in later, the committee staff member said.

The committee mark recommends repealing the carrier cost caps. The next two carriers, CVN-80 and CVN-81, are being purchased two-carrier buy that’s a fixed-price contract, so a cost cap isn’t needed anyway. The cost cap for Gerald R. Ford was adjusted a few times but ended up being $12.8 billion. John F. Kennedy’s cost cap is $11 billion, according to committee staff members...
https://news.usni.org/2019/06/03/congress-unhappy-with-ford-class-inability-to-deploy-with-f-35-fighters

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Trump says U.S. aircraft carrier design Is ‘wrong’
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2019, 18:35:05 »
Why not a revolutionary design such as aa catamaran type carrier and surface effect surface vessels ?