Ready, Aim ... No Urinals on New $12.9B Aircraft Carrier

Gerald R. Ford was developed without them
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2017 7:32 AM CDT
Updated Jul 30, 2017 12:00 PM CDT
One Thing You Won't Find on $12.9B Aircraft Carrier: Urinals
The Navy's next generation aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford arrives at Naval Station Norfolk and approaches its berth next to the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, left, and USS George Washington, after returning from Builder's Sea Trials, in Norfolk, Va., April 14, 2017.   (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/U.S. Navy via AP)

A $12.9 billion aircraft carrier probably doesn't lack much, but the brand new Gerald R. Ford comes without one thing: urinals. The Navy Times reports on the surprising first, which came about following the decision to make every "head" gender-neutral. That will reportedly make it easier for the Navy to pivot and change the corresponding berthing area to housing female sailors versus male and vice versa as the makeup of deployments change. The decision to eliminate them from carriers was made in 2012, per a CNN piece published at the time, which noted urinal drain pipes are more likely to clog, increasing both maintenance costs and unpleasant odors.

Those are the pros. The cons, according to design experts, are that toilets eat up more space than urinals do and are much less sanitary. As one such expert explains, men are more likely to miss their mark in a toilet, meaning urine more likely to accumulate on the floor. But it's a done deal, regardless: President Trump commissioned the warship on Saturday in Norfolk, Virginia, but the AP reports deployment isn't nigh: Sea trials finished up in April, but a battery of at-sea tests and workups are next required and could take more than four years to finish. (In other bathroom news...)

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