US Navy To Receive $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier In April

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:16 PM, January 12, 2017
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US Navy To Receive $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier In April
Tug boats maneuver the USS Ford aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) into the James River during the ship's turn ship evolution (Image: Cathrine Mae O. Campbell for US Navy)

The $13 billion ‘super-carrier’ USS Ford will be delivered to the US Navy by April. This is one of the most expensive aircraft carriers ever built.

“GERALD R. FORD (CVN 78) is 99 percent overall complete with 93 percent of the test program complete (93 percent Hull, Mechanical & Electrical, 92 percent propulsion testing, and 93 percent electronics testing),” Navy spokesperson Capt. Thurraya Kent said in a statement Wednesday.

“Over the past few months, we have made significant progress resolving first-of-class issues associated with these critical systems and have resumed critical path testing in support of Builder’s Sea Trials.  This progress enables us to forecast our sea trials and delivery schedule.  Specifically, we have updated the ship’s schedule to reflect Builder’s Sea Trials in March 2017, Acceptance Trials in April 2017, and Delivery in April 2017, pending the results of sea trials,” Kent added.

A date for commissioning is still to be decided.

USS Ford is the lead ship of her class of United States Navy super carriers. It is currently a pre-commissioning unit (PCU).

Gerald R. Ford is intended to be the first of a class of aircraft carriers that offer significant performance improvements over the previous Nimitz class. It is equipped with an AN/SPY-3 active electronically scanned array multi-function radar, and an island that is shorter in length and 20 feet (6.1 m) taller than that of the Nimitz class; it is set 140 feet (43 m) further aft and 3 feet (0.91 m) closer to the edge of the ship.

Replacing traditional steam catapults, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) will launch the all carrier aircraft. This eliminates the traditional requirement to generate and store steam, freeing up considerable below-deck square footage. EMALS can accomplish 25% more aircraft launches per day than the Nimitz class and requires 25% fewer crew members. The Navy estimates it will save $4 billion in operating costs over a 50-year lifespan.

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