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Costliest U.S. Carrier Isn’t Ready to Defend Itself, Tests Show

  • Poor performance cited in annual report by Pentagon tester
  • USS Gerald R. Ford also may lack enough berths for its crew
The USS Gerald R. Ford in Newport News, Virginia, in 2017.
The USS Gerald R. Ford in Newport News, Virginia, in 2017.Photographer: U.S. Navy/Getty Images

Three combat systems on the $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford have been found deficient in recent tests, raising questions about whether the aircraft carrier will be able to defend itself, according to the Pentagon’s testing office.

Navy evaluations of defensive capabilities for the costliest U.S. warship revealed “deficiencies and limitations” with its radar, electronic warfare surveillance system and a ship-to-ship communications data network, said in an annual Pentagon report released Thursday.