President Donald Trump was speaking to sailors on an assault ship in Japan on Tuesday as he criticized the plans to overhaul some U.S. aircraft carriers’ catapults.
“You know, they were saying – one of the folks said, ‘No, the electric works faster. But, sir, we can only get the plane there every couple of minutes.’ So, really, what they did was wrong. I think I’m going to put an order. When we build a new aircraft carrier, we’re going to use steam. I’m going to just put out an order: We’re going to use steam. We don’t need – we don’t need that extra speed,’’ said Trump.
The biggest problem for Trump was the price for the project, which costs somewhere around $900 million according to the President.
“Steam’s only worked for about 65 years perfectly. And I won’t tell you this because it is before my time by a little bit, but they have a $900 million cost overrun on this crazy electric catapult,’’ said Trump.
The Navy’s use of steam catapults to launch aircraft from ships has become a pet issue for the President, The Hill informs.
According to an interview in Time, Trump had in 2017 pledged that the service would not switch to “digital’’ catapults for launching aircraft, as he said that the service members had to be Albert Einstein to successfully use the newer systems.
“It sounded bad to me. Digital. They have digital. What is digital? And it’s very complicated, you have to be Albert Einstein to figure it out. And I said – and now they want to buy more aircraft carriers. I said, ‘What system are you going to be – Sir, we’re staying with digital.’ I said, ‘No you’re not. You going to goddamned steam, the digital costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good’,’’ said Trump during that interview.