Saturday, June 22, marked the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford – America’s latest and most technologically-advanced aircraft carrier ever developed, and the most advanced in the world. President Trump handed over the vessel to the Navy in a ceremony held in the vessel’s steamy hangar.
“American steel and American hands have constructed this 100,000-ton message to the world,” Trump said, describing the vessel as “an incredible work of art” as he boasted in the American labor force who created it. “American might is second to none and we’re getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration. That I can tell you,” he added.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the first of three carriers meant to upgrade the Navy’s fleet from the Nimitz-class carriers, which were hewn together more than 40 years ago. The price for a Ford-class carrier? Search your piggy banks -- $12.9 billion. Several key improvements, however, are worth the price tag.
The aircraft is 1,100 feet in length, making it longer than three football fields. It operates on two nuclear generators, which creates enough electricity to make all functions on the aircraft move more quickly and efficiently than in earlier Nimitz-class versions. According to Navy officials, its guidance system is so advanced that it can practically steer itself – for example, the navigation controls are now touch screen.
According to Fox News, more than 20 systems have been made new or have been modified from the Nimitz-class vessels. As a result, fewer crew are needed to keep the vessel functional. Two thousand, six hundred crew are needed to operate the USS Gerald R. Ford, more than 600 fewer crewmen than on earlier aircraft carriers.
One of the most advanced and important of the upgrades involve the flight deck. With state-of-the-art electromagnetic catapults and advanced arresting gear, the military will be able to launch about 33 percent more aircraft than older carriers, according to Fox News.
After President Trump’s speech, he put the vessel into commission and asked God to “bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her.” Joining her in the commissioning was Susan Ford Bales, the daughter of the 38th president, whom the ship honors.
What do you think? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.