New Naval Ship
The Gerald R. Ford is a new class of aircraft carrier design created for the US Navy to replace the previous Nimitz class of carriers. It is the latest aircraft carrier model made for the navy in four decades and boasts a wide range of improvements over its predecessor.
Its armaments consist of surface-to-air missiles, close-in weapon systems, and .50 caliber heavy machine guns. The Gerald R. Ford is powered by two nuclear reactors and can go more than 30 knots in terms of speed. Meanwhile, the aircraft carrier design can hold as many as 75 aircraft and close to 5,000 crew members.
An Improved Aircraft Carrier Design
Manufactured by Newport News Shipbuilding, a division under Huntington Ingalls Industries, the Gerald R. Ford will be the primary forward asset when it comes to crisis response. It will also be the main unit for early decisive striking power in major combat operations.
The vast improvements that the Gerald R. Ford has over the Nimitz will allow this type of aircraft carrier to provide the core capabilities in terms of sea control, forward presence, power projection, and maritime security.
Besides improved warfare capabilities, the new class also brings quality of life improvements for its crew while also being more cost-efficient. Every ship made for this new aircraft carrier class is going to save about $4 billion in total ownership costs that are expected in its 50-year service life. The Gerald R. Ford can operate with almost 700 fewer crew members than the Nimitz class.
The new equipment and design features that the Gerald R. Ford has are expected to reduce both maintenance workloads and watch standing required for its crew. This new type of aircraft carrier design is also the first that uses all-electric utilities to get rid of steam service lines and improve corrosion control.
With the way the Gerald R. Ford is configured, it is capable of accommodating new systems in case it has to be upgraded throughout its service life. The futuristic specifications that come with this new type of aircraft carrier will surely change naval warfare in the coming years.
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