The newest, largest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the US Navy and the world, is preparing to set sail for the first time.
After years of costly setbacks and delays, the $13 billion lead ship of a new class of aircraft carriers is on track to finally deploy next year, a US Navy admiral told USNI News this week.
The newest US aircraft carrier – USS Gerald R.Ford (CVN-78), with the most modern maritime technologies, is designed with the largest size ever. Because of its superiority, it is considered the most advanced aircraft carrier in the world today and is also known as the most expensive military equipment in the world. The cost of building this aircraft carrier is estimated at about 14 billion USD.
Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford features an array of new technologies — such as the electromagnetic aircraft launch system and advanced weapons elevators — intended to make it more capable than its Nimitz-class predecessors, but reliability challenges and technological integration problems, among other issues, hindered the project.
But, at long last, the troubled ship, initially expected to deploy in 2018, should soon be ready to do the nation’s bidding. The carrier is reportedly in the middle of its final phase of maintenance prior to deployment.
USS Gerald R.Ford (CVN-78) is currently on the list of the world’s largest battleships, has been in operation since 2017 but is currently undergoing a comprehensive inspection to be officially operational because of its new technologies which require a thorough examination.
Also for the first time, the USS Gerald R.Ford marked the arrival of the first super-carrier of a Gerald R.Ford-class aircraft carrier. The ship was built and developed by the Huntington Ingalls Company. CVN-78 is also known in the world as the “giant metal beast” in the sea of America. This can be said that from its size to its power, it is very powerful.
The ongoing maintenance period follows the successful completion of explosive shock trials this summer, when the Navy detonated multiple 40,000-pound bombs near the Ford to test its ability to handle the shock of actual combat.
“We did have some things break, but we will fix them,” Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, the Ford’s commanding officer, said at the time. “From a severity standpoint, I’d like to say we had zero catastrophic failures on the ship, zero situations where we had flooding, zero fires. All that is pretty significant.”
The Navy is eager to get the Ford deployed, not only for its advanced capabilities but also to add an extra carrier to the deployable force amid frequent demands for these powerful naval assets.
Though USS Gerald R. Ford brings a lot of new capabilities, it will need to undergo modification in order to eventually deploy with the Navy’s most advanced carrier-based fighter jet, the F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. The only Navy carrier to deploy with the F-35 is USS Carl Vinson, which deployed in August. The Ford is the latest in the service’s unmatched fleet of 11 operational carriers.
The Navy will also have to consider how to integrate new unmanned systems, such as the MQ-25 Stingray tanker drone.
This aircraft carrier CVN-78 can carry about 4,500 crew members, accompanied by the presence of more than 90 military aircraft of all kinds and many reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV).
In addition, regarding the modernity of the USS Gerald R.Ford, the ship has been upgraded with modern avionics systems, allowing the carrier to possess capabilities such as an advanced “air catcher” system, This allows maximum maneuverability in the landing process, and at the same time reduces the number of crews appearing in support operations.
Along with that, the aircraft carrier also appeared an upgrade of the powerful RIM-162 Sea Sparrow missile system, bringing a formidable power on the naval front. In addition, there will be the appearance of more than 75 close-in weapon systems on the CVN-78, up to a maximum of 90 units, with the appearance of the Phalanx system.
The Navy currently has three additional Ford-class aircraft carriers, namely USS John F. Kennedy, USS Enterprise, and USS Doris Miller, in various stages of construction.