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Last Updated: November 13, 2014
The USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78, was first floated in dry dock on October 11, 2013, and was officially launched and christened on November 9, 2013. She was thhen moved out of her dock to Pier 3 at Newport News Shipbuilding where she is outfitting in preparation for builders and acceptance sea trials in 2015. she is expected to be commissioned into the US Navy in 2016.
The Ford is the first of class, and the second ship in class, the USS John F. Kennedy, CVN-79, is building in that same dry-dock. Kennedy will follow the Gerald R. Ford and launch in five years, in 2018. The third in class, the USS Enterprise, CVN-80, will follow the Kennedy six years later, in 2024. Altogether ten of these vessels are expected to be built to replace the ten Nimitz class nuclear aircraft carriers currently in use by the United States Navy.
Each of these vessels will carry an airwing of fixed wing aircraft, VSTOL aircraft, helicopters, and unamanned arial vehicles (UAV) that is larger and more powerful than many nation's complete air force. By having the resources, the experience, and the capability to operate these vessels (where each vessel is surrounded by an extensive force of other surface and sub-surface combatants that make up each Carrier Strike Group (CSG)), the United States will remain the unchallenged, dominant sea force on earth.
The USS George HW Bush, CVN-77, was christened on October 7, 2006, and replaced the USS Kitty Hawk, CV-63 in 2008. Although officially listed as a Nimitz class carrier, CVN-77 also represents a transformation step in US carrier development from the Nimitz class towards the Ford Class.
Initial steel cutting for the USS Gerald R. Ford was accomplished in August of 2005. The keel laying occurred in late 2009. In January 2013, the new integrated island was lifted onto the deck of the Ford. In May 2013, the last section of the catrapault was lifted, completing the flight deck and placing the vessel on track for launch. USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78, will replace the USS Enterprise, CVN-65, America's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, which was decommissioned in December 2012.
First steel for the second in class, USS John F. Kennedy, CVN-79, was cut in February of 2011 and she has progressed to a point where she take the yard space that the Ford is currently occupying.
The Ford Class carriers are being built by Newport News Shipbuilding (Renamed Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding), which built the USS Enterprise, and all ten Nimitz class carrirrs.
Diesign Considerations and Featuers:
USS Gerald Ford, CVN-78, latest pictures|
USS Gerald R Ford Christening, November 9, 2013
USS Gerald R Ford Island Lift, Jan 26, 2013
USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78, Christening
USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78, artists depcitions
1st Steel Cut of CVN-78 (2005) and CVN-79 (2011)
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