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Pentagon budget 2024: New PSA mindset alters construction and delivery plan for carrier Kennedy

The US Navy is altering the carrier John F Kennedy's delivery schedule. (Michael Fabey)

The new US Navy (USN) Post Shakedown Availability (PSA) plan for aircraft carriers is pushing back the expected delivery date for the Ford-class John F Kennedy (CVN 79), but the service anticipates a more operationally capable ship at delivery, and there is no expected changes for vessel deployment or related operations, programme officials told Janes.

“CVN 79 delivery date is being adjusted to July 2025 to support a revised ship delivery/post-delivery strategy,” the USN said in proposed fiscal year (FY) 2024 budget documents released by the navy.

“The navy is implementing a strategy to pull baseline work from the Post Shakedown Availability into the construction period in order to provide more capability at ship delivery,” the USN said. The new date is about a year later than the USN had recently marked as a delivery date.

The navy is looking to cut or eliminate the PSA period for carriers, although, according to programme officials, the change will not completely eliminate the PSA. Instead, it is expected to shorten that time to a more traditional PSA, during which they will correct things found in trials – acceptance trials in the case of John F Kennedy.

“This approach will prepare CVN 79 as the first Ford-class aircraft carrier to operate in the Indo-Pacific region and decrease the amount of time CVN 79 would be required to be at the shipyard after ship delivery to conduct the PSA,” the USN said. “CVN 79's PSA will align to a traditional period of resolving discrepancies discovered during trials. The revised strategy maintains the overall ready for deployment workups – [a] milestone for CVN 79.”

The completion of fitting-out work for

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