USS Gerald R. Ford, the US supercarrier has finally started sea trials after more than a year of repairs.

The ship received many compliments but also suffered from criticism after countless delays on departure for technical problems. USS Gerald R. Ford with the hull number CVN-78 is the most expensive aircraft carrier of the US Navy, worth about $ 13 billion, not to mention the $ 4.7 billion spent on research and development. This ship uses nuclear power, can operate continuously without stopping, under all weather conditions at sea. According to RT, the construction of the aircraft carrier is not an ordinary party. Ford is the product of years of construction, planning and design. More than 5,000 shipbuilders in Newport News and thousands of suppliers across the United States contributed to the first-of-class ship. It took 757 thousand liters of paint to paint the ship, this is enough to paint the White House 350 times. With a displacement of 100,000 tons full load, equivalent to the mass of 400 Statue of Liberty, Ford also became the largest ship of the US Navy.

USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft carrier history and specification

USS Gerald R. Ford and upcoming USS John F. Kennedy are two new Gerald R. Ford-class super aircraft carriers that will soon be equipped for the US Navy. USS Gerald R. Ford will replace the legendary aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65), which is more than 51 years old. Meanwhile, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is still under construction and is expected to be operational by 2020.

According to the convention of naming warships established by the late President Theodore Rossevelt, aircraft carriers (codenames CV and CVN) will bear the names of naval admirals and politicians (usually presidents) in honor of their name after their death. With the exception of the USS Enterprise, the remaining aircraft carriers all bear the names of US presidents, starting with USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).

Ford in U.S. Navy uniform, 1945
Ford in U.S. Navy uniform, 1945

In the case of CVN-78, the decision to name the 38th president of the United States was proposed by US President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006. At this time, Gerald Ford is still alive and well. It was not until January 2007, after Gerald Ford died (December 26, 2006), that the US naval chief Donald Winter officially announced that the CVN-78 would be named USS Gerald R. Ford in accordance with the naming convention.

Meanwhile, CVN-79 is the third battleship named after a deceased member of the Kennedy family and the second aircraft carrier named John F. Kennedy (formerly USS John F. Kennedy ( CV-67) or “Big John” of the Nimitz class, has now been retired).

USS Gerald R. Ford has a manufacturing cost of about $ 17 to $ 18 billion, of which $ 12.8 billion is for materials and labor costs, $ 4.7 billion for research and development. The contract was signed between the US Navy and the shipbuilding branch of Northrop Grumman military contractor. The branch was later acquired by Huntington Ingalls in 2011.

USS Gerald R. Ford is located on the Dry Dock 12
USS Gerald R. Ford is located on the Dry Dock 12

The image above shows the giant USS Gerald R. Ford when it was still on the Dry Dock 12 of Newport News Shipbuilding.

The giant USS Gerald R. Ford
The giant USS Gerald R. Ford

Shipbuilding activities take place around the clock. USS Gerald R. Ford brings many notable upgrades compared to the Nimitz class, especially the better living environment for sailors with quieter sleeping compartments. More entertainment as well as fitness areas, and better air conditioning system.

Computer model of USS Gerald R. Ford.
Computer model of USS Gerald R. Ford.

The complete ship has a length of 337m, a height of 76m, a beam of 78m, a displacement of 100,000 tons.

The computer design
The computer design

USS Gerald R. Ford has a deck area of 333 x 78m, carrying more than 90 aircraft of all types and 4660 sailors.

Gerald R. Ford is designed with real 3D dimensions, using the Rapid Operational Virtual Reality
Gerald R. Ford is designed with real 3D dimensions, using the Rapid Operational Virtual Reality

Each component manufactured for Gerald R. Ford is designed with real 3D dimensions, using the Rapid Operational Virtual Reality (ROVR) system of Huntington Ingalls. USS Gerald R. Ford is the first aircraft carrier designed with this technology.

On February 25, 2011, Newport News Shipbuilding held the first steel-cutting ceremony for the USS John F. Kennedy.

According to Newport New Shipbuilding estimates, it takes up to 2000 tons of metal to weld the ship’s components together.

Workers are fastening screws on a propeller of USS Gerald R. Ford with a torque wrench. The ship is equipped with 4 propellers, using 2 A1B nuclear reactors. The propellers will help the Gerald R. Ford-class achieve 35 knots (56 km/h), a respectable speed for a ship weighing up to 10,205 tons.

Newport News Shipbuilding operates a private steel foundry and workers are casting anchor pipes for the USS John F. Kennedy.

Trevin Wilson was installing the pipe on USS John F. Kennedy

Pictured is the expert Trevin Wilson was installing the pipe on USS John F. Kennedy. The Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers are designed with significantly reduced lead solder pipes. Compared to Nimitz-class warships, USS John F. Kennedy has less than one-third of the number of pipeline valves.

An indispensable component on the aircraft carrier deck is the catapult system. Pictured is the test operation of the new US Navy electromagnetic launch system. On the deck of the USS Gerald R. Ford, they tested a sled-up vehicle about the size of a fighter jet into the James River.

A successful launch, the electromagnetic launch system can accelerate an object heavier than 45 tons to a speed of 201 km/h on a range of less than 91m.

Big Blue cranes at Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard are putting air traffic control tower on USS Gerald R. Ford in January 2013.

And this is a 1,026-tonne compartment – the heaviest component of the USS Gerald R. Ford’s structures. It is 38m long and 38m wide and is located below the deck and it contains a lot of things including fire extinguishing systems, jet fuel and aircraft launch systems.

In the past, warships were usually built from bottom to top. Today, ships are built in modular form. In the picture, the engineers are lowering the final structure piece of the USS Gerald R. Ford.

And here is the bow of the USS Gerald R. Ford, which weighs about 680 tons, is lowered by a crane to attach it to the ship’s bridge.

The crane at Newport New Shipbuilding is assembling a 787 tonne bow. This is a very demanding stage.

Susan Ford, daughter of Gerald R. Ford and honorary sponsor, visited the ship named after her father in 2011. She also closely followed many stages of manufacturing of USS Gerald R. Ford and in the picture above, she is Help an engineer tighten a component on the main deck of a ship.

The Gerald R. Ford ushers in a new class of warship designed to rule the seas through the 21st century. Gerald R. Ford entered the fleet replacing the decommissioned USS Enterprise, which ended her 51 years of active service in December 2012. At present, she is the world’s largest aircraft carrier, and the largest warship ever constructed in terms of displacement.

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