President Donald Trump is apparently still frustrated over the Navy's decision to use a new system to launch jets from aircraft carriers — and he talked about it during a speech Tuesday night.
Trump has long expressed his displeasure with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALs) used on the new carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, which has contributed to delays in the ship being finished and put into service. The Navy opted to forgo the old way of using steam and instead spent more money on the new system.
According to Business Insider, Trump has brought up the issue several times since taking office in 2017. He raised it again during a speech to Republicans on Tuesday.
"The great aircraft carrier, the Gerald Ford . . . it's getting close," Trump said.
"The largest ship ever built, they say. It's a massive ship. But they're having trouble with the catapult system, because it used to be steam . . . They've decided to go magnetic. Never been done before. And electronic. So, it's very, very complex."
He added, "We have an aircraft carrier, you can't send planes off the damn thing. Historically, that has not proven to be a good thing for aircraft carriers."
The Ford carrier, the first of 10 planned ships in the Ford class, costs around $13 billion.
Business Insider chronicled other references to the Ford carrier Trump has made over the past two years, indicating he is frustrated with the slow progress in perfecting the new catapult system.
Navy Times wrote about the Ford carrier last month, saying it is now scheduled to be in service in October. Problems the Navy has faced in developing the ship include the new catapult and arresting cable system and 11 advanced weapons elevators.
The Navy first launched and landed a fixed-wing aircraft on the Gerald R. Ford in July 2017.
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