USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is to be the lead ship of her class of United States Navy supercarriers. As announced by the U.S. Navy on January 16 2007, the ship will be named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford.

Ford is scheduled to be laid down in 2009, concurrently or nearly so with the commissioning of USS George H. W. Bush. Construction work has begun; on August 11, 2005, Northrop Grumman held a ceremonial steel cut for a 15-ton plate that will form part of a side shell unit of the carrier. The schedule calls for the ship to join the U.S. Navy’s fleet in 2015. Ford is slated to replace the current Enterprise, ending her 50-plus years of service with the United States Navy.

Ship naming

In 2006, while Ford was still alive, Senator John Warner of Virginia proposed to amend a 2007 defense spending bill to declare that CVN-78 "shall be named the U.S.S. Gerald Ford." The final version signed by President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006 declared only that it "is the sense of Congress that … CVN-78 should be named the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford." Since such "sense of" language is typically non-binding and does not carry the force of law, the Navy was not required to name the ship after Ford.

On January 3, 2007, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that the aircraft carrier would be named after Ford during a eulogy for the president at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rumsfeld indicated that he had personally told Ford of the honor during a visit to Ford's home in Rancho Mirage a few weeks before Ford's death. This makes the aircraft carrier one of the few U.S. ships named after someone still alive. Later in the day, the Navy confirmed that the aircraft carrier would indeed be named for the former president. On January 16, 2007, Navy Secretary Donald Winter officially named CVN-78 the USS Gerald R. Ford. Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales, was named the ship's sponsor. The announcements were made at a Pentagon ceremony attended by Vice President Dick Cheney, Senators Warner and Levin, General Guy C. Swan III, Bales, Ford's other three children, and others.

The USS America Carrier Veterans Association (CVA) had pushed to name the ship USS America. The CVA is an association of sailors who served aboard USS America, which was decommissioned in 1996 and scuttled in 2005.

Design

The Ford-class carriers will also be incorporating new aircraft launch technologies, such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System.
The EM Catapults are rumored to be on hold, as they are running into technical difficulties at this time.

Displacement 100,000 tons approx
Length 836.6 ft 255 m
Beam 265.2 ft 80.8 m
Draught
Flight Deck Length
Flight Deck Width
Speed To be announced
Range To be announced

References

External links

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