USS Gerald R Ford: World’s Largest Aircraft Carrier

  • The U.S. Navy commissioned the USS Gerald R Ford on 22nd July 2017.
  • USS Gerald R Ford, the gigantic aircraft carrier, cost an estimated $13 billion.
  • The nuclear-powered warship docked at Halifax, Canada, on 28th October 2022.
  • The aircraft carrier then anchored at Portsmouth, England, on 14th November 2022.

USS Gerald R Ford is the most advanced aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy. The Newport News Shipbuilding Company built the aircraft carrier in 2013. The ship is named after the 38th President of the United States of America, Gerald Rudolph Ford.

History of USS Gerald R Ford

In 2017, the former President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, formally commissioned the USS Gerald R Ford into the U.S. Navy. The vessel is set to replace the iconic USS Enteгpгise (CVN 65), a ship that served the U.S navy for more than 50 years.  

The ship cost around $ 13 Billion, with an additional $4.7 billion spent on its Research & Development. Susan Ford Bales, daughter of Gerald R Ford, remained the biggest sponsor of the project. Hence the name Gerald R Ford.

The construction of the aircraft carrier started back in 2009. Unsurprisingly, it took four long years to build the gigantic nuclear-powered warship. The Newport News Shipbuilding company had initially scheduled to launch the ship in July 2013. However, multiple production hiccups delayed its delivery.

USS Gerald R. Ford
Anchored off Portsmouth Naval base, England. Credit: PlaneHistoria

As of 2017, USS Gerald R Ford is the world’s largest aircraft carrier and the largest warship ever constructed in terms of mass and displacement. The warship surpassed the U.S. Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers while becoming the biggest aircraft carrier in the world.

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Incredible Innovation

It can carry an amazing 75 aircraft, more than any other warship in history. The length of the ship is between 333m and 337m. The USS Gerald R. Ford’s displacement is a staggering 100,000 tonnes at a full load. A True monster of the high seas.

The crest of the new ship.
The ship’s crest.

Moreover, the ship has a whopping height of 250 ft, making it the tallest aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier can easily sail at a speed of around 30 knots, which is almost equivalent to 35 miles per hour.

USS Gerald R. Ford is the first warship to boast 23 new technologies. In addition to an advanced arresting gear, the warship has an on-board nuclear plant capable of generating three times the amount of electricity actually needed. Moreover, the ship has an in-built electromagnetic aircraft launch system.

The technology replaces the steam catapult system traditionally used to launch aircraft. The launch system is an unprecedented innovation in itself.  This feature will likely expand technological advancements in the future of aircraft carriers. 

The ship on its way for sea trials.
Underway for builder’s sea trials on 8 April 2017.

Significance

Admiral Daryl Caudle highlighted the significance of commissioning the USS Gerald R Ford in the U.S. Navy. He said, “The USS Gerald R Ford Carrier Strike Group will deploy, integrating with Allies and partners, to demonstrate its unmatched, multi-domain, full-spectrum lethality in the Atlantic.”

Admiral Caudle added, “This trans-Atlantic deployment will strengthen our relationships, capacity, and trust to forge a more peaceful and prosperous world by leveraging the ‘One Atlantic’ Command and Control Concept.”

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On 28 October, 2022, the USS Gerald R Ford docked outside America for the first time. It visited Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia, Canada’s largest military installation. The port also happens to be the home of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Atlantic fleet.

A true beast of the sea.
Underway in the Atlantic Ocean on 9 October 2022.

The ship USS Gerald R Ford reached Portsmouth, England, on 14th November 2022. Thousands of men and women serving on board visited the city to experience its rich maritime culture. With the passage of time, the warship is set to carry out multiple exercises in the North Atlantic.

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Vice Admiral Dan Dwyer said, “The Atlantic is an area of strategic interest. Our primary goal is to contribute to a peaceful, stable, and conflict-free Atlantic region through the combined naval power of our Allies and partners.”

Vice Admiral asserted, “The deployment of USS Gerald R Ford’s carrier strike group is the natural progression of our renewed commitment to the Atlantic.”

The U.S. Pentagon announced that USS Gerald R Ford will exercise with aircraft carriers from France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. NATO is set to lead these exercises throughout the Atlantic region. In any case, seeing the behemoth warship in action will truly be a sight to behold.

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