Author Topic: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"  (Read 22377 times)

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Offline Baz

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2016, 08:57:45 »
Usually a ship is named after someone who is deceased,not one who is still living.

Umm... USS George H.W. Bush



Offline Rifleman62

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2016, 09:08:25 »
USS Barack Obama: What's the point? No aircraft will be able to land or takeoff as the deck will all be solar panels needed to move the ship for 15 day deployments. No weapons will be carried but there will be a line gun for red lines to be shot across the waves.

A small crew will be augmented by thousands of Regulators with EPA and IRS being predominant. The threat of the USS Barack Obama as a projection of American military power will be its ability to end "wars" by Presidential Decree.

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2016, 10:27:37 »
The onboard health care system would likely suck as well.

I'd rather see one named after Jimmy Carter than Obama or Clinton. At least his intentions were pure, and he helped get that nice Mr Reagan elected.

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2016, 13:44:49 »
Precision Aircraft Landing System (PALS) Tested on Ford-class Aircraft Carrier at HII Shipyard

Source: navy recognition - 19 August 2016


A special instrumented F-18 Super Hornet flew within about 500 feet of Gerald R. Ford 10 times during the testing, which verifies the proper functionality, alignment and operation of the PALS equipment and its subsystems. Photo by HII
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 13:52:51 by S.M.A. »
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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2017, 09:52:12 »
Updated assessment

A lengthy article, from the Project on Government Oversight.*

My edited highlights:
Quote
How Not to Build a Ship: The USS Ford
By: Dan Grazier & Pierre Sprey | May 30, 2017

The Navy had expected to have the ship delivered in 2014 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The inevitable problems resulting from the concurrently bulding a ship and  developing new & unproven technologies -- more than a dozen in all -- caused the schedule to slip by more than three years and the cost to increase to $12.9 billion—nearly 25 percent over budget. (That's without aircraft; assuming a complement of at least 50 F-35Cs, with each aircraft having a conservative real cost of $185 million…for a total of $9.25 billion worth of strike aircraft concentrated on one ship. That means this one ship when underway will be worth at least $22.25 billion, to say nothing of the 4,297 sailors on board. That is putting a great deal of proverbial eggs in a single basket).

The Electromagnetic Launch System (EMALS) has a poor reliability track record, failing about once every 400 launches (ten times worse than the 4,166 launches between failures the system is contracted to achieve). At least four days of surge combat sortie rates are to be expected at the beginning of any major conflict. At the current failure rate, there is only a 7 percent chance that a four-day flight surge could be completed without failure.  There are four EMALS, but no maintenance can be conducted if any one is operating (unlike the current steam catapults).  Oh, they also overstress F/A-18 airframes.

Replacing hydraulic arresting gear system with the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG).... the original 2005 $172M estimate for AAG development is now well over $1.3 billion -- a 656 percent increase. For that, the latest reliability results show only 25 landings between operational mission failures of the AAG, 660 times fewer than the Navy’s requirement of 16,500. Also, exactly like the EMALS, it is impossible to repair AAG failures without shutting down flight operations: the AAG power supply can’t be disconnected from the high-voltage supply while flights continue.

General Atomics, the company contracted to design and build both the EMALS and AAG.... has never built catapult launch systems or carrier arresting gear.

To feed these massive electrical demands and the ship’s expanded electronics, the Ford’s four generators were designed to provide triple the total electrical power provided by the eight generators on the Nimitz class—13,800 versus 4,160 volts. Along with increased electrical arcing and failure rates, particularly in humid salt atmospheres, they are much more fragile than legacy systems, making the ship easier to cripple in battle. Repairing damage to these systems often requires them to be powered down, impacting other systems that didn’t sustain damage.

There's much more in the article, including a consideration of CVNs vs anti-ship missiles and/or SSKs.


And for more face-palm, have a look at the US Govt Accountability Office's "FORD-CLASS AIRCRAFT CARRIER: Congress Should Consider Revising Cost Cap Legislation to Include All Construction Costs, (2014)" to see how development & construction costs are being hidden. The $ numbers above are likely underreported.  Link

* The Project on Government Oversight expands on the work of the Center for Defense Information (CDI) in advancing military reform in the Pentagon and Congress. CDI was founded in 1971 by a group of retired military officers to analyze military matters, inform decision-makers and the public, and influence policy. It takes no money from defense contractors or the government, and it publishes fact-based research and policy advice that attempted to put basic national security needs front and center. It is led by conscientious military officers—retired generals, admirals, colonels, majors, captains— challenging ill-informed conventional wisdom and self-interested defense contractor disinformation rather than promoting either.

Offline Loachman

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2017, 10:42:40 »
There's at least one Irving joke in there somewhere.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #31 on: June 15, 2017, 17:32:37 »
And more of the same....

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-15/new-u-s-carrier-hobbled-by-flaws-in-launching-landing-planes

"The $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier That Has Trouble With Planes"

What would it take to haul the Nimitz drawings out and put a pause on the Fords for a decade or so?
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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2017, 11:39:15 »
Carriers' increasing vulnerability? Strike aircraft range problems:

Quote
How America’s Aircraft Carriers Could Become Obsolete
Modern missiles make them vulnerable. A $13 billion price tag makes them expensive. New technology may make them unnecessary.

President Donald Trump has been consistent in his argument that the U.S. Navy has shrunk to a woefully inadequate size. The Republican has repeatedly said he wants the service to expand, including a fleet of a dozen aircraft carriers. That plan isn’t in the Pentagon’s current budget, but on July 22 the Navy will formally commission CVN-78, the USS Gerald R. Ford, its newest, most sophisticated nuclear-powered carrier.

The Ford, hit with delays and technical glitches, is expected to become operational in 2020. One question about its formal readiness, however, rests on whether the Navy will perform “full-ship shock trials,” a test in which the service detonates explosives nearby to demonstrate its fitness. Some in Congress—which has mandated a carrier fleet no smaller than 11—want to move the Ford into duty more quickly to reduce strain on the rest of the carrier fleet.

These massive mobile airports, which can cart as many as 90 aircraft simultaneously, are designed to project U.S. military and diplomatic power around the world. Earlier this month, for example, the Navy posted two carriers, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan, and their strike groups in the Sea of Japan for joint exercises with Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force as a precautionary signal to North Korean aggression.

The USS Gerald Ford is the first of four planned Ford-class carriers, the Navy’s first new carrier design in 42 years, although only three of them have names and funding. A shock trial would be deferred until the second carrier, CVN-79, the USS John F. Kennedy, arrives in 2020, according to defense funding language being pushed in the House seapower and projection forces subcommittee.

... Is the aircraft carrier defensible, both physically and in budgetary terms? For the Navy, the future role of its carrier fleet is a critical issue. Do these vessels retain their central role in U.S. foreign power, or will Congress and military leaders find more appealing ways to deploy the immense budgets a carrier group requires?..

When it comes to carrier deployments, the most immediate concern is the security of the more than 7,000 crew members who travel with a carrier strike group, an armada formulated to protect the ship and its aircraft as well as to serve as “a principal element of U.S. power projection capability,” as the Navy terms it.

But this formation is likely to face greater risks due to new missile technology in the coming years. China and Russia are both perfecting more sophisticated missile designs, and both are believed to be developing hypersonic glide vehicles (HGVs), weapons that travel faster than Mach 5, according to a Pentagon report obtained by Bloomberg News.

China already fields a ballistic missile, the Dong Feng-21D, which has been dubbed a “carrier killer” due to its 900-mile range and lethality. Over time, these types of weapons are likely to keep U.S. carriers farther from shore, which will require greater refueling capabilities for their aircraft complements.

For several years, the Pentagon has “admired the problem” of how long-range enemy missiles affect its carrier fleet but has avoided tough decisions about how to increase the fleets’ aircraft range and provide for more unmanned aircraft, said Paul Scharre, senior fellow and director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a nonprofit think tank. Meanwhile, the Navy’s strike range from its carrier wings has actually dipped by 50 percent, below 500 miles [emphasis added], according to Jerry Hendrix, another CNAS analyst...

More spending for unmanned platforms, from electronics jamming to surveillance and reconnaissance, would give pilots in F/A-18s as well as the newer F-35Cs more range and effectiveness. But because the Pentagon hasn’t developed unmanned platforms, “naval aviators ... are accepting a world where the carrier has less relevance in higher-end fights, against high-end adversaries,” Scharre said.

One example of the Navy’s muddled view on range, says Scharre, is the MQ-25 Stingray, an unmanned aerial refueling tanker, that’s considered a critical aspect of future carrier operations. The Stingray may be deployed as early as 2019 on two carriers. Yet the Navy hasn’t specified whether the MQ-25’s precise role would be as a mission tanker to accompany fighters on combat strikes, or merely as a recovery tanker loitering near carriers for pilots who miss approaches and are low on fuel, Scharre said...
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-28/how-america-s-aircraft-carriers-could-become-obsolete

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2017, 12:54:44 »
Carriers' increasing vulnerability? Strike aircraft range problems:

"Modern missiles make them everything vulnerable", nyet?

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2017, 13:56:56 »
True, USN losing a carrier (loss of lives?) would be a disaster like none other since WW II.  Even disabling one out of combat would be huge operational and prestige blow.

Mark
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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2017, 17:06:31 »
There being far more nuclear warheads on each side than airfields, ICBM silos, submarine bases, and political centres, etcetera, what difference does a carrier or a dozen make?

Superiority and inferiority of various weapons and systems ebb and flow - measure, counter-measure, counter-counter-measure...

Carriers are big, with massive electrical generating capacity. They'll be the first to mount laser weapons.

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2019, 12:17:23 »
Trump has some justification for his frustration with these carriers:

Quote
Concerned Over Delays, Navy Dispatches Commercial Industry Team To Fix Ford Carrier
The Navy's new $13 billion carrier has run into trouble, and the Navy has called in some outside help.

Increasingly concerned over technological problems plaguing its new $13 billion nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Navy has dispatched a unique team of civilian and government experts to the USS Gerald R. Ford in a new attempt to understand what is happening.

The experts, pulled from outside the defense industry in order to provide a fresh perspective, were selected for their expertise in working with complex electromagnetic systems, a technology that has proved daunting for the Navy and shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls at its Newport News Shipbuilding facilities in Virginia.

The team, which Navy officials have declined to identify, started work last month on getting the ship’s 11 electromagnetic weapons elevators up and running, a task that the Secretary of the Navy has already staked his job on, telling President Trump he can fire him if they’re not in working order.

Currently, only two of the ship’s new weapons elevators are operational, meaning sailors are unable to quickly move munitions from belowdecks to aircraft ready to take off.

“We have a full court press on the advanced weapons elevators,” said James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for acquisition in a statement. “We’ve gathered a team of experts on the carrier right now, which will work with the shipbuilder to get Ford’s weapons elevators completed in the most efficient timeline possible.” Significantly, Geurts said, the team “will also recommend new design changes that can improve elevator activities for the rest of the Ford class.” The group, the Navy said, has worked in electromagnetic systems, fabrication and production control, software, systems integration, and electrical engineering in the commercial sector.

The admission of serious design flaws with one of the carrier’s most vaunted new technologies is another acquisition and maintenance-related black eye for the Navy, which is struggling to get ships through routine repair availabilities, and has seen critical flaws pop up in the missile tubes aboard its next-generation Columbia-class nuclear submarines...

Earlier this year, the Navy announced it was pushing back the schedule for getting the Ford to sea for its next round of trials, moving the tests from July to October, due to a number of issues, including the elevators.

The schedule slip has put Navy Secretary Richard Spencer in an awkward position, as he previously related he told President Trump, “I asked him to stick his hand out; he stuck his hand out. I said, let’s do this like corporate America. I shook his hand and said, the elevators will be ready to go when she pulls out or you can fire me
[emphasis added].”..


https://breakingdefense.com/2019/07/concerned-over-delays-navy-dispatches-commercial-industry-team-to-fix-ford-carrier/

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« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 12:20:22 by MarkOttawa »
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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2019, 15:03:33 »
Nominee for new US Navy CNO (a three-star jumped over several four-stars) gets heat from Senators at confirmation hearing--note mention of Arctic, North Atlantic, relevant for RCN/CCG):

Quote
Inhofe: Navy ‘Arrogance’ On USS Ford ‘Oughta Be Criminal’
Presumptive CNO Vice Adm. Mike Gilday is forced to answer for years of Navy problems.

The head of the Senate Armed Service Committee today charged Navy leadership with “a level of arrogance” in dealing with the failures of its new $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, saying the lack of planning for key new technologies that have struggled to perform “oughta be criminal.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe’s comments came during the nomination hearing for the next Chief of Naval Operations, Vice Adm. Mike Gilday, who was on the spot to answer for years of maintenance delays, modernization stumbles, and the struggle to grow to a 355-ship fleet in a two-hour hearing.

The hearing — generally friendlier than that might make it seem at first glance  — presented the image of a service struggling to modernize at a critical time as commitments mount in the Pacific, Arctic [emphasis added], and North Atlantic [Russkie subs with SLCMs], as China churns out new warships at a rate unmatched anywhere else on the globe.

Inhofe assured Gilday he realized the admiral isn’t responsible for any of these issues, but kicked off the proceedings with pointed questions about the Ford, along with a litany of issues plaguing the Navy.

The Navy is both under-manned and its hulls under-maintained, with close to 70 percent of ships unable to get through maintenance availabilities on time, Inhofe said, noting there’s $1.8 billion in outstanding maintenance needs still unfunded. “Overall,” the senator added, “it seems to me that the Navy is having trouble maintaining today’s fleet of 291 ships, and the challenges will only grow as the fleet surpasses 300 ships in 2020 and 310 ships in 2022, on the way to 355 ships in the 2030s.”

The chief concern on the Ford is the fact that only two of 11 weapons elevators work, and there is no timeframe for getting the rest online. The elevators, which pull munitions from below deck topside for aircraft on the deck, are a new electromagnetic design that has bedeviled Navy planners. The service has called in a team of experts from commercial industry to help out...

Gilday confirmed to the committee that the Columbia-class nuclear submarine remains the Navy’s top priority, and that he is making sure the industrial base is prepared for continued builds of the boat that will be a key part of the United State’s nuclear triad in the coming decades. That will be no small task as the submarine industrial base will be asked in short order to double production rates from two submarines a year to at least four, which include the upgraded Virginia-class subs.

The admiral said work is pushing forward on the Columbia, and it’s on track to have 80 percent of the design work done by next year. In a nod to the Ford’s failures, he said that “any new technologies we introduce to those submarines are tested” well before being installed on the boat...

Gilday’s nomination was somewhat of a surprise, as the former commander of 10th Fleet and the Navy’s cyber arm, was outranked by seven sitting four-star admirals [emphasis added]. Such a move hasn’t happened since 1970 when then-Vice Adm. Elmo Zumwalt was nominated to be CNO, leapfrogging over a clutch of four-stars. It may be a sign that the Trump administration wants the Navy shaken up.
https://breakingdefense.com/2019/07/inhofe-navy-arrogance-on-uss-ford-oughta-be-criminal/

Mark
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2019, 11:46:48 »
The latest problem is getting ammunition from one deck to another. If I find a link I will share.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/navy-13-billion-carrier-t-222636871.html
« Last Edit: August 02, 2019, 12:07:41 by tomahawk6 »

Offline Spencer100

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2019, 14:45:54 »
The elevator problem is cover for the EMALS.  (this is the conjecture on the Cdr Salamader site)  The Ford has not launched a plane is over a year. 

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #40 on: August 06, 2019, 11:26:51 »
How survivable will USN carriers be vs Russian, Chinese hypersonics (not to mention various other types of missiles)?

Quote
With mounting questions about cost and survivability, a shifting political landscape for US aircraft carriers

The new chief of naval operations, Adm. Michael Gilday, was confirmed quickly by the Senate last week, but lawmakers made clear that the cost and growing vulnerability of aircraft carriers to ever-faster and evasive missiles will be among the issues he’s expected to tackle when he officially takes the reins.

The Navy’s main force projection tool, the carrier, became a punching bag for several lawmakers at Gilday’s confirmation hearing, as they alternately raised the threat posed by Chinese and Russian hypersonic missiles and berated the Navy’s future top admiral for the significant delays and cost overruns associated with the new carrier Gerald R. Ford.

At one point during the July 31 hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., told Gilday the Navy’s arrogance on the carrier “ought to be criminal.” Later on, longtime friend of the Navy Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, warned that hypersonic missiles were a “nightmare weapon” that threatened to make carriers obsolete.

And while the lawmakers differed on the future of aircraft carriers and their long-term viability, the hearing left no doubt that Gilday, a career surface warfare officer, has his work cut out for him in proving he can guide the service toward a more stable future for the Navy’s most expensive and strategically invaluable assets.

To be clear, Inhofe does not oppose carriers, and he has publicly reminded multiple Trump administration officials of the Navy’s legal requirement to maintain 11 of them. Inhofe was in the bipartisan chorus of lawmakers who opposed Pentagon plans to cut costs by decommissioning the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman before the administration scuttled those plans this year.

When it comes to the Ford program, Inhofe plans to keep the Navy on a short leash and pressed Gilday to commit that he would work to prevent the kind of widespread “first-in-class” issues that have plagued the Ford. It’s an issue with some urgency behind it, as the Navy prepares to tackle the new Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine for nuclear deterrent patrols, as well as a next-generation frigate, new classes of unmanned warships and a new large surface combatant.

“The Navy entered into this contract in 2008, which, combined with other contracts, have ballooned the cost of the ship more than $13 billion without understanding the technical risks, the costs or the schedules, and you know this ought to be criminal,” Inhofe said.

The Navy had taken a gamble integrating immature dual-band radar, catapult, arresting gear and weapons elevators, and Inhofe expressed displeasure with the result...

‘Sitting ducks’

As for rising threats to the carrier, King believes hypersonic missiles are an existential threat to the Navy and urged Gilday to take the issue head on.

“Every aircraft carrier that we own can disappear in a coordinated attack,” King said. “And it is a matter of minutes. Murmansk, [Russia], to the Norwegian Sea is 12 minutes at 6,000 miles an hour.

“So I hope you will take back a sense of urgency to the Navy and to the research capacity and to the private sector that this has to be an urgent priority because otherwise we are creating a vulnerability that could in itself lead to instability.”

In an interview with Defense News, King said the speed at which the Russians and Chinese are fielding the capability worries him.

“My concern is that we are a number of years away from having that capacity, and our adversaries are within a year of deployment
[emphasis added],” he said. “And that creates a dangerous gap, in my view. This represents a qualitative gap in offensive warfare that history tells we better figure out how to deal with, or it will mitigate our ... advantage.”

King, who represents the state where half the Navy’s destroyers are produced, also said he’s concerned about the long-term viability of aircraft carriers in a world with hypersonic missiles.

“I think it does raise a question of the role of the aircraft carrier if we cannot figure a way to counter this capability,” he said. “I don’t want indefensible, $12 billion sitting ducks out there. I’m not prepared to say the carrier is obsolete, but I say that this weapon undermines the viability of the carrier [emphasis added].”..
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/08/06/with-mounting-questions-about-cost-and-survivability-a-shifting-political-landscape-for-us-aircraft-carriers/

Post from 2016 (pre-hypersonic)--links at start no longer work but do if copy title and paste in "Search" box at top right:

Quote
US Navy: Carriers or Subs, with the Dragon in Mind
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/mark-collins-us-navy-carriers-or-subs-with-the-dragon-in-mind/

Mark
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #41 on: August 06, 2019, 16:48:36 »
Step 1:  Reliably launch a 10 kg projectile using electromagnetic force

https://thediplomat.com/2019/06/us-navys-railgun-entering-new-testing-phases/

Step 2: Reliably lift a 1000 kg pallet between decks using electromagnetic force

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-30/flawed-elevators-on-13-billion-carrier-miss-another-deadline

Step 3:  Reliably launch a 31,800 kg F35C using electromagnetic force

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/no-f-35s-navys-new-aircraft-carriers-has-long-list-big-problems-61647

Glad it's not my project.


PS Related thought

Where are all the Maglev trains of the 1980s?

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/29/maglev-magnetic-levitation-domestic-travel
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 16:57:13 by Chris Pook »
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #43 on: August 06, 2019, 17:24:49 »
China? ???

Shanghai Maglev Train

Quote
Operating costs   

A 2007 statement by Transrapid USA said with 4 million passengers in 2006 the system was able to cover its operating costs. The ratio of costs were given as: 64%-energy, 19%-maintenance & 17%-operations/support services; no amount was given. The high proportion of energy costs was attributed to the short trip time and high operating speed.[16] However, according to Chinese media's report, due to the huge costs of operating and the lack of the passenger flow, Shanghai Maglev Transportation Company would lose 500 million to 700 million RMB every year.[17]

Efficiency appears to need work.
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Offline Good2Golf

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Re: The US Navy's Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carriers (updates)"
« Reply #44 on: August 06, 2019, 20:57:31 »
Efficiency appears to need work.

In a purely ‘transactional’ sense, perhaps.

Then again, $70M USD isn’t a bad sunk cost for having the prestige of operating a 460km/h maglev train, while ‘greater’ countries futz around with second-thought technology that takes a back seat to chugging freight trains... :dunno:

Regards
G2G