The United States Navy commissioned the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) this past weekend. The ship is noted for many advanced technologies on board, but what is also notable is what the ship doesn't have.
According to a Navy Times report, though the Ford has a compliment of America's most advanced fighters, it's missing urinals in the men's head.
Tugboats maneuver the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) into the James River. | US Navy
The Navy claimed that the elimination of the urinals increase flexibility when it comes to shifting berthing arrangements for the crew on board the $13 billion vessel. However, there are some drawbacks to this new arrangement, according to experts.
Chuck Kaufman, president of the Public Restroom Company, is among those critical of the design change. The Public Restroom Company specializes in designing public restrooms that have been used in parks, rest areas, playgrounds – just about anywhere.
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) | US Navy photo
"[A toilet is] by far a less clean environment than a urinal. By far," Kaufman told the Navy Times, citing the fact that men tend to miss normal toilets more often than they miss urinals.
"What is a problem is [with a water closet] you have a very big target and we can't aim very quickly," he added, noting that the only way to ensure men didn't miss was to make them sit down. Furthermore, Kaufman explained, toilets take over twice the space of urinals. The Navy Times noted that about 18 percent of the Navy's personnel are women.
USS Gerald R. Ford in the drydock. (WATM archive)
The Gerald R. Ford replaced the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which was taken out of service in 2012.
The ship will carry out its first deployment in 2020, according to a report from USNI News and incorporates almost two dozen technological improvements over the Nimitz-class carriers currently in service,