NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) - The USS Gerald R. Ford, which is under construction right now in Newport News Shipyard, was supposed to replace the recently inactivated USS Enterprise by March of 2016. But 10 On Your Side has learned the Ford may not be ready in time.
A GAO report published this month indicates a delay for the nation's newest aircraft carrier to join the fleet as a fully capable ship by March.
The report says that, "technical design and construction challenges" are driving up cost and could possibly delay the schedule.
According to a report published by Bloomberg News , the Ford is projected to cost $12.8 billion -- that's 22 percent more than the estimated price tag established five years ago.
Problem areas deal with the ship's radar system as well as the aircraft launch and recovery systems.
The GAO reports these problems will likely cause operational limitations that will affect the readiness of the ship past its commissioning date. And that creates even more problems for Newport News Shipbuilding because the GAO says the problems with the Ford are reason enough to delay the contract for the second carrier in this class, the USS John F. Kennedy.
The Shipyard was expecting to get that contract this year.
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A parade float caught fire at an Oceanfront parade on Dec. 7, 2013.