Pentagon requests shifting $40 million to continue work on CVN-78

By Justin Katz / November 25, 2019 at 9:47 AM

The Pentagon last month requested congressional approval to shift approximately $40 million to "correct deficiencies" found on the aircraft carrier Gerald Ford (CVN-78).

"Remaining work includes Advanced Weapons Elevator work, additional labor to address and correct technical issues [and] completing deferred work," according to an Oct. 7 document signed by acting Pentagon Comptroller Elaine McCusker.

If approved by lawmakers, the available funding would come from money originally designated to deliver two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers as well as complete an extended maintenance availability on a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The reprogramming document indicated that work was finished and the date the funding could be obligated had passed.

Separately, language in the fiscal year 2020 defense policy bill aims to repeal the cost cap for the Navy's latest aircraft carrier.

"Our rationale behind that is they've done absolutely nothing to contain cost over the years. As you know, CVN-78 had multiple cost overruns," a House Armed Services Committee staffer told reporters in June.

"We raised the cost cap on that I believe three times throughout the length. All it has done is driven inefficiencies within the Navy," the staffer continued.

The defense policy and spending bills have been stalled for several months as Congress works through several issues with the White House. A second continuing resolution was passed last week and expires Dec. 20.