The USS Gerald Ford is more than a $13 billion ship (2023)

Believe it or not, the largest naval force in the world is not the United States Navy. This award belongs to the People's Liberation Army of China. The PLA Navy currently has a fleet of 355 warships, with that number expected to increase to 460 by 2030. This increases the obligation on the US to continue to develop and expand its own fleet so that it can continue to compete with its own. main adversaries. Hence the recent debut of the USS Gerald Ford, America's first new transitional aircraft carrier in more than 40 years.

The USS Gerald Ford, which made its maiden voyage in 2022, took nearly two decades to build and is considered the most technologically advanced warship in the world. But what exactly is it that makes it so special? And how does this aircraft carrier help level the playing field for the US military? Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know about the ship, her cutting-edge capabilities, and the next generation of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

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How many aircraft carriers does the United States have?

An aerial view of the USS Gerald R. Ford (foreground) alongside the USS Harry S. Truman, a former Nimitz-class ship. US Navy photo by mass communication expert Seaman Riley McDowell.

The US Navy currently has11 operational aircraft carriersin your fleet Ten are of the Nimitz class, which are nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.built between 1975 and 2009. Eles são USS Nimitz, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, USS Carl Vinson, USS Theodore Roosevelt, USS Abraham Lincoln, USS George Washington, USS John C. Stennis, USS Harry S. Truman, USS Ronald Reagan y USS George H.W. Arbusto.

USS Gerald Ford (CVN-78) is the first of 10 Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers the US Navy plans to add to its fleet. Eventually, all Nimitz-class flattops will be replaced by Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers. In accordance withUS-Marina, "The Gerald R. Ford class will be the primary means of crisis response and decisive strike capability on a major combat mission."

(Video) Scary USS Gerald R. Ford - How Powerful is the CVN-78? US Navy's $13 Billion Aircraft Carrier

The USS Gerald Ford is the newest nuclear aircraft carrier to enter service. The next three aircraft carriers in the class to join the fleet in the future are USS John F. Kennedy, USS Enterprise, and USS Doris Miller.

Related:5 of the biggest naval battles in recent history

How many planes can the USS Gerald Ford carry?

An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the 23rd Air Test and Evaluation Squadron, approaches the USS Gerald R. Ford as the carrier conducts test and evaluation operations July 28, 2017. US Navy photo USA by Erik Hildebrandt.

The USS Gerald Ford accommodates more than 75 aircraft. According to the US NavyMagazine for all hands,USS Gerald Ford is capable of servicing and launching the world's most advanced aircraft, including the F-35C Lightning II, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, EA-18G Growler and the MH-60 R/S Helicopter. In addition to fighter jets, reconnaissance platforms and helicopters, the Ford is capable of launching and recovering unmanned aerial vehicles and short takeoff vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft.

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Why is the USS Gerald Ford considered the most technologically advanced warship ever built?

The USS Gerald Ford is more than a $13 billion ship (2)
(Video) USS Gerald R. Ford | The $18.5 Billion Most Expensive Warship Ever Built

Aviation Gunnery Officer Third Class Juan Torres of Milwaukee, assigned to the weapons department of the USS Gerald R. Ford, moves ammunition to one of the ship's forward gun elevators during an ammunition load on the flight deck, the April 9, 2021. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Angel Thuy Jaskuloski.

The main differences between the Nimitz-class and Ford-class aircraft carriers come down to technological improvements. For example, the USS Gerald Ford is the first aircraft carrier in the world to have all power systems. This is important as it eliminates the need for steam supply lines, which means less maintenance and better corrosion protection.

When designing the Ford, Navy engineers chose to abandon the traditional steam catapults used on the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and replace them with new ones.Electromagnetic launch system for aircraft.(AND BAD). EMALS technology enhances Ford's takeoff capabilities, enabling both manned and unmanned aircraft missions. New technologies on the USS Gerald Ford result in a 33% increase in mission spawn rates compared to Nimitz-class carriers, that is, H. of combat missions per individual aircraft.

In addition, the USS Gerald Ford is equipped with twoA1B nuclear reactors– in other words, your own nuclear power plant. The A1B generates three times the power of the A4W jets on current Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. This allows the USS Gerald Ford to drive autonomously for around 20 to 25 years without the need to refuel.

The Ford Class ship configuration was also designed to incorporate new research and development of more advanced technologies throughout its 50-year lifespan. For example, the Office of Naval Research is currently testing three classes of weapons, including directed energy weapons,high energy laserand high power microwaves. The Ford is expected to eventually be equipped with directed energy weapons.

Another unique feature of the USS Gerald Ford is its 11advanced gun uprisings(AWS). These elevators can lift up to 24,000 pounds and greatly improve the leverage of the carrier's air wing. According to Cmt. Richard Rosenbusch,Ford Air Force Warrant Officer, AWEs also relieve flight deck operators of the additional duty of weapon preparation. Thanks to AWE, the assembly and arming of the weapons can be completed in the fuselage before lifting them to the flight deck, where they are attached to the aircraft.

Related:Plagued by tech glitches, Flattop Ford finally sets sail

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How much did the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier cost?

The USS Gerald Ford is more than a $13 billion ship (3)

A cabin facilitator aboard the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford. Photo via USS Gerald R. Ford-CVN 78/Facebook.

It cost Uncle Sam approximately $13.316 billion to design and build the USS Gerald Ford. For comparison, the USS Ronald Reagan, the ninth Nimitz-class aircraft carrier to enter service,costs approx.$4.5 billion.

The effort to build the USS Gerald Ford was as long as it was expensive. Planning and other efforts to get the project off the ground in 2001 cost $21 million. OKstars and stripes,The project spent $135 million in fiscal 2002, $395 million in 2003, and $1.16 billion in 2004. By the end of 2007, the total price had risen to $1.49 billion. Then, in September 2008, the Navy awarded Newport News Shipbuilding a $4.9 billion contract to begin construction. Over the next decade, the program suffered several delays. These delays created additional costs that required billions of dollars in additional funding. Although President Donald Trump ordered the ship in July 2017, it would be another five years before Ford entered service.

in one (no)InterviewConducted in July 2021 and posted on the official Navy website, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday described the lengthy construction of the USS Gerald Ford as an overly ambitious undertaking.

“We had 23 new technologies on this ship, which frankly increased the risk and cost of delivery – on-time and cost-effective delivery right out of the gate,” Gilday said. "And I think the industry is totally on board with that: we really shouldn't be introducing more than one or two new technologies on a complex platform like this to make sure we keep risk at a manageable level."

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(Video) Here’s why USS GERALD R. FORD (CVN-78) Aircraft Carrier costs more than $13 billion?

Where is the USS Gerald Ford now?

The USS Gerald Ford is more than a $13 billion ship (4)

The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford makes her maiden solo voyage as she departs the Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia, April 8, 2017. US Navy photo. Taken by Mass Communications Expert 2nd Class Ridge Leoni.

In November 2022, the USS Gerald Ford returned to her home port in Norfolk, Virginia after completing her maiden voyage. During Ford's 53 days at sea in the Atlantic, the carrier covered approximately 9,275 nautical miles, launched 1,250 sorties, delivered more than 78 tons of ammunition, and conducted 13 ongoing replenishment operations.

The USS Gerald Ford is part of the Naval Air Force, Atlantic Fleet. The command includes six nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 54 squadrons, 1,200 aircraft and 43,000 sailors and civilians stationed along the US East Coast. Navy leaders said Ford will start staying longermore traditional implementationsin 2023.

Keep reading:Flattop flagship Gerald R. Ford returns home from maiden voyage

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What is the Navy's new 13 billion dollar? ›

The USS Gerald R. Ford, US Navy's newest aircraft carrier, embarked on its maiden deployment on Tuesday. The carrier cost more than $13 billion and will work with countries like Canada, France and Germany on training for air defence, anti-submarine warfare and amphibious operations.

How much did the Gerald R. Ford ship cost? ›

The Navy estimates it will cost around $12.7 billion. “The ship is being built with an improved shipyard fabrication and assembly process that incorporates lessons learned from the construction of CVN-78 (USS Gerald R.

How many aircraft can the Gerald Ford carry? ›

Ford, the first of its class, has a host of new technologies new to the fleet and will have about 60 aircraft aboard at any given time during the service-retained deployment. The ship is taking about 80 percent of a carrier air wing and embarking with every type of aircraft that operates from a carrier.

How much is the Navy Nuke bonus? ›

Nuclear Accession Bonus Program

An accession bonus of up to $15,000 is paid to officers selected for nuclear propulsion training. Upon successful completion of the nuclear propulsion training program, officers receive a bonus of $2,000. If they don't complete the program, the bonus must be repaid.

How old will the US Navy be in 2022? ›

The Navy will celebrate its 247th birthday on October 13, 2022.

What is the most expensive warship in the world? ›

Pride Of US Navy: The Largest & Most Expensive Warship In The World, USS Gerald R Ford, Is Ready To Sail. About five years after it was first commissioned in the US Navy, the USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78), which has been in the eye of the storm for several years, is finally nearing its operational deployment.

What is the U.S. largest warship? ›

The USS Zumwalt is the largest destroyer in the world. The US Navy's three Zumwalt-class ships cost about $22.4 billion in research and development.

How much does 1 aircraft carrier cost? ›

The Navy just deployed its $13 billion aircraft carrier, which was both commissioned and panned by Trump, who ranted: 'It just doesn't look right'

Who has the biggest aircraft carrier in the world? ›

On 14th November the US Navy's new aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford arrived in UK waters for her first visit to Europe. The 100,000-ton ship is the largest, most expensive and arguably the most powerful warship ever built.

What is the largest aircraft carrier ever? ›

Ford was delivered to the Navy on 31 May 2017 and formally commissioned by President Donald Trump on 22 July 2017. Her first deployment departed October 4, 2022. As of 2017, she is the world's largest aircraft carrier, and the largest warship ever constructed in terms of displacement.

What is the most advanced aircraft carrier in the world? ›

The USS Gerald R. Ford is considered the top of its class in the world of aircraft carriers. Ford-class ships usher in a new generation for the naval fleet as a successor to the Nimitz-class ship which has been the ship of choice since 1975.

Does Russia have aircraft carriers? ›

Flagship of Russian Navy catches fire

Admiral Kuznetsov, the flagship of the Russian Navy and the country's only aircraft carrier, caught on fire Thursday, according to Russian state-media.

What is the biggest badass warship? ›

The "biggest badass" warship in the world has moored off the south coast of England. The 333m-long USS Gerald R Ford, which is the newest and largest aircraft carrier in the US fleet and the biggest in the world, has dropped anchor in the Solent near Gosport, Hampshire.

Do aircraft carriers have McDonald's? ›

There are no McDonalds on any aircraft carrier. They have two galleys, one in the aft end of the ship and another in the forward area. The forward galley is often nicknamed McDonalds, because the mostly serve burgers, chicken strips or nuggets like fast food while the aft galley served more “prepared food”.

How much do Navy Seals make? ›

Salary Ranges for Navy Seals

The salaries of Navy Seals in the US range from $15,929 to $424,998 , with a median salary of $76,394 . The middle 57% of Navy Seals makes between $76,394 and $192,310, with the top 86% making $424,998.

How much does a submarine officer get paid? ›

$136,853. The estimated total pay for a Submarine Officer at US Navy is $136,853 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users.

Why is the Navy giving $25,000 bonus? ›

We're offering these bonuses because we want to remain competitive,” said Cmdr. David Benham, spokesman for Navy Recruiting Command. Higher bonuses up to $50,000 could be available for certain jobs such as some on submarines and some in the information technology fields, according to the Navy.

Can I join the Navy at 55? ›


To join the Navy, you must: Be a U.S. citizen; or Legal Permanent Resident (Enlisted) Be between the ages of 17 and 41 for Enlisted programs. Age requirements for Officer programs vary.

Can you join the army at 50? ›

The maximum age to join the Army as an enlisted Soldier is 35, while Officers must accept their commission before age 31. However, the Army can lift some restrictions based on the need for certain roles to be filled. It's possible to receive an age waiver if you retire with 20 years of military service by age 55.

What is the cut off age to join the US Navy? ›

Age Limits for Enlisting

The oldest you can be to enlist for active duty in each branch is: Coast Guard: 31. Marines: 28. Navy: 39.

What is the most feared battleship? ›

Yamato 's Last Voyage. On her last morning, before the first American planes intercepted her, Yamato would have appeared indestructible. After all, she was the heaviest and most powerful battleship ever built, carrying the most formidable guns ever mounted at sea.

What is the best warship ever built? ›

1. USS Constitution. The USS Constitution, or "Old Ironsides," as it is affectionately known, first hit the seas as one of the first six frigates in the newly formed US Navy of 1797. The Constitution had both 30 24-pound cannons and also speed.

What ship has the biggest guns in world of warships? ›

The T10 Japanese Battleship Yamato has some of the biggest guns in game with 3 x 460 mm/45 Type94. To work out how much armor you can penetrate, take the Caliber (460) and divide that by 14.3. For the Yamato that's 32.1mm armor it can overmatch!

What is the deadliest Navy ship? ›

USS Nimitz: Deadliest Ship. Named after Chester W. Nimitz, a commander of the United States' Pacific Navy aircraft fleet, the USS Nimitz is one of the biggest aircraft carriers in the world today.

What ship has the biggest guns? ›

The largest calibre guns ever mounted on a ship were the nine 45.7 cm (18 inch) guns installed on the Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi. The shells weighed 1,452 kg (3,200 lb) and could be fired 43.5 km (27 miles).

Which country has the best warship? ›

Top 10 Navies in the World
  • Nr.1 United States. The US Navy is currently the most capable navy in the world. ...
  • Nr.2 China. Chinese navy is officially called the People's Liberation Army Navy. ...
  • Nr.3 Russia. ...
  • Nr.4 Japan. ...
  • Nr.5 United Kingdom. ...
  • Nr.6 France. ...
  • Nr.7 India. ...
  • Nr.8 South Korea.

What is replacing the Zumwalt? ›

The warship's mission will remain surface strike, and the Zumwalt's SPY-3 radar would be replaced with the SPY-6 (v)3, both of which are made by Raytheon. Responses are due Dec.

How much does 1 U.S. destroyer cost? ›

The class is named for Admiral Arleigh Burke, an American destroyer officer in World War II and later Chief of Naval Operations.
Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.
Class overview
Preceded byKidd class Spruance class
Succeeded byZumwalt class DDG(X)
CostUS$1.843 billion per ship (DDG 114–116, FY2011/12)
29 more rows

What is the newest US Navy warship? ›

U.S. Navy's Newest Aircraft Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Arrives in Portsmouth > United States Navy > News-Stories.

How much is the USS Zumwalt worth? ›

One of these is the new USS Zumwalt, a powerful-yet-deadly sports car for the high seas. The destroyer ship costs about $8 billion dollars according to CNN and every single missile that it fires, costs more than $800,000 per round.


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