Meet the US Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier


Colossal 100,000 Tonne 13 Billion Dollar Supercarrier USS Gerald R. Ford Leaves Harbor and Begins Sea Trials. This most impressive ship brings many design, technological and systems enhancements to the force projection capabilities of the United States Navy.


USS Gerald Fors model photo

With the skillful assistance of the tug crew, the magnificent, brand new 1,100-foot-long, 100,000-tonne nuclear-powered supership USS Gerald R. Ford has left port to begin sea trials. CVN 78 sailed from Newport News for several days of grueling open water testing.


Loading the missiles

The new Ford-class carriers were designed to require significantly less plumbing. The Kennedy, for example, has one-third fewer valves than warships in the older Nimitz class. Here, a group of sailors from the ship’s Combat Systems department practice loading a dummy RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile into the NATO Sea Sparrow Missile System launcher.Gunners Mate 1st Class Ernest Quinones and Gunners Mate Darius Bloomfield handle one of the Ford’s .50-caliber machine guns during a general quarters drill.

A team of Fire Controlmen aboard the Gerald R. Ford feed dummy ammunition into the ship’s MK-15 close-in weapon system during a maintenance check.


Bringing out the big guns

Fire Controlman 3rd Class Lawrence Batcheller performs an operability test on the Gerald R. Ford’s Rolling Airframe Missile launching system remote controller.

Each of the surface-to-air missiles weighs 162 pounds and has infrared homing capabilites. Gunner’s Mate Seaman Sharon Handler prepares an M-14 rifle loaded with a Mark-87 line throwing kit, assisting with the mooring of the PCU Gerald R. Ford as it returns to Norfolk, Virginia.

USS Gerald R. Ford Begins Builder's Sea Trials

The ship was sent to sea for testing

Ships like this look to me like giant targets for enemy ballistic missiles or (even drones). I wonder if admirals were as attached to sailors as they were to battleships before the Second World War, when ships were much more valuable than warships as warships.

The ship was sent to sea for testing

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