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US President Donald Trump rips aircraft carrier design, says will ‘use steam'

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump greets Marines during a Memorial Day event aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in Yokosuka on May 28, 2019. (AFP photo)
US President Donald Trump rips the Navy's new electromagnetic aircraft launch systems on its new Ford-class supercarriers, asserting that he wants them “to use steam.”

Trump made the comments before the US troops aboard the USS Wasp at a Memorial Day event in Japan's Yokosuka Tuesday.

"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,'" he said. "So, really, what they did was wrong."

The American commander in chief has been obsessed with steam catapults like those on Nimitz-class carriers, arguing that they work better than the more expensive electromagnetic launchers.

"I think I’m going to put an order," the president said. "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."

Trump further slammed the idea of the “crazy” catapult, which he claimed has had a high cost.

“Steam’s only worked for about 65 years perfectly,” the president added. “And I won’t tell you this because it’s before my time by a little bit, but they have a $900 million cost overrun on this crazy electric catapult."

The US president has previously said that American soldiers need to be Albert Einstein to be able to work with the new 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,' " he told Time magazine in 2017.