|SPECIFICATIONS||PHOTOGRAPHS (Click on the pictures for an enlarged photo)|
Length: App 1100 ft
Width: 250+ ft
Beam: 135+ ft
Displacement: 102,000 tons
Propulsion: 2 nuclear reactors,
Speed: 30+ knots
Crew: App. 4,600 (includes air crew)
Airwing: 85 fixed, UAV, rotary
- 2 x 16 ESS SAM (32 missiles)
- 2 x 21 RAM SAM (42 missiles)
- 2 x 20mm CIWS Phalynx
- 4 x .50 cal MG
Ships in class: 2 building, 10 planned CVN-65, USS Enterprise, the Secretary of the Navy announced that the 3rd Ford Class carrier, CVN-80, would be named USS Enterprise. It is expected that ultimately 9-10 of the class will be built, replacing the US Nimitz class carriers one for one evey 5-6 yearss. They will be the largest warships ever built. They will be the mainstay of the US Navy's power projection and sea lane protetction capabilities throughout the 21st century.
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 9-10 such 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 and the vessel is expected to be launched in 2013 and commissioned in 2015. As of December, 2012, the builder, Huntington Ingalls, announced that the vessel was 90% structurally complete. In January 2013, the new integrated island was lifted onto the deck of the Ford. In April 2013, the foreward bow section was lifted, completing the flight deck and placing the vessel at 96% structurally complete and on track for launch later in 2013. 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 had proceeded to a point where she is now waiting for the yard space that the ford is currently occupying.
The Ford Class carriers are being built by Newport News Shipbuilding (Now Renamed as Northrup Grumman Shipbuilding), which built the USS Enterprise, and all ten Nimitz class carreirs. Among the innovations that the Ford class carriers will introduce are:
USS Gerald R Ford Island Lift, Jan 26, 2013|
USS Gerald Ford, CVN-78, construction, April 2013 - 96% complete
USS Gerald R. Ford, CVN-78, artists depcitions
USS Gerald Ford, CVN-78, construction, May 2012 - 75% complete
1st Steel Cut of CVN-78 (2005) and CVN-79 (2011)
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