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Navy’s $13 Billion Carrier Sows Doubt That It Can Defend Itself

  • Pentagon testing office cites uncertainty of interceptor tests
  • Ford carrier is due to sail on its first deployment this year
The USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.
The USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.Source: Getty Images North America

The combat system for the Navy’s newest and costliest warship, the $13 billion Gerald R. Ford, “has yet to demonstrate that it can effectively” defend the aircraft carrier from anti-ship missiles and other threats, according to a new assessment by the Pentagon’s testing office.

Mixed performance by missile interceptors, radar and data dissemination systems on a testing vessel limited the ability to destroy replicas of incoming weapons even though sensor systems “satisfactorily detected, tracked and engaged the targets,” according to the report obtained by Bloomberg News in advance of its release.