USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)

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USS Gerald R. Ford in April 2017
USS Gerald R. Ford in April 2017
Order September 10, 2008
Keel laying November 14, 2009
Launch November 9, 2013
1. Period of service flag
Commissioning July 22, 2017
Technical specifications

100,000 ts


337.1 meters (Lüa)
332.8 meters (flight deck)


40.8 meters (waterline)
78 meters (flight deck)


11.9 meters




4 propellers, powered by 2 A1B nuclear reactors


30+ kn


Up to 90, including: Boeing F / A-18 , Boeing EA-18 , Grumman C-2 , Grumman E-2 , Lockheed Martin F-35 , Sikorsky SH-60

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is an aircraft carrier in the United States Navy . It is named after the former US President Gerald R. Ford and as the type ship of the Gerald R. Ford class, it is the first of the successor class to the Nimitz class .

The Gerald R. Ford entered service on July 22, 2017, as a replacement for the USS Enterprise (CVN 65) , which was decommissioned on December 1, 2012 and officially decommissioned on February 3, 2017 .



The decision to name the new carrier USS Gerald R. Ford was significantly influenced by the US Congress . Virginia's Senator John Warner tabled an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 that suggested just that. Congress agreed, George W. Bush confirmed the decision with his signature on October 17, 2006. However, it only said “ is the sense of Congress that […] CVN-78 should be named the USS Gerald R. Ford ”. This “ should ” (German: “should”) indicates that sole responsibility for naming ships lies with the United States Secretary of the Navy , at this time Donald C. Winter .

On January 3, 2007, a few days after Ford's death, then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that the decision to name Ford had been made. The Navy itself officially confirmed this on January 16, 2007.

Building history

On September 10, 2008, Northrop Grumman officially received a $ 5.7 billion contract to build the CVN-78. Northrop Grumman- Newport News Shipbuilding began construction on August 11, 2005, cutting steel plates. The keel was laid on November 14, 2009. In 2008 the US Navy re-estimated the total cost at $ 10.5 billion. In June 2008, the Congressional Budget Office estimated it to be $ 11.4 billion. The commissioning cost was named as $ 13 billion.

The ship was launched on November 9, 2013. The aircraft carrier was christened by Susan Ford Bales, the daughter of Gerald Ford.

Shortly after the launch, an internal report revealed that the aircraft carrier could not meet the new requirements. In particular, the increased number of take-offs and landings required compared to the Nimitz class ("sortie generation rate") could not be achieved because the newly developed electromagnetic aircraft catapults are technically not yet fully developed, as are the landing interception system, the radar systems required for flight control and the Ammunition lifts. Taken together, according to the report, this significantly increased the cycle time between the individual aircraft handling, making it even slower than with the Nimitz class. It was assumed that the deficiencies can be remedied by the commissioning in 2017, but with additional costs of 25% (approx. 13 billion US dollars total costs) and delays in the construction of the same type of ships USS  John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and USS  Enterprise (CVN-80) . In July 2016, a postponement of the delivery until November 2016 was announced. From April 8, 2017, the ship completed factory test drives with its own propulsion power. On May 31, 2017, the USS Gerald R. Ford was handed over to the US Navy and put into service in Norfolk on July 22, 2017 . She is considered the most expensive warship in the world.

Flooding of the dock

Web links

Commons : USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Gerald R. Ford Class Aircraft Carrier
  2. Jürg Kürsener: Lead ship "Gerald R. Ford": The USA launch a new generation of aircraft carriers. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . July 21, 2017.
  3. This aircraft carrier controls itself . In: . 19th July 2017.
  4. Last voyage of the floating giant . In: Spiegel Online . December 1, 2012, accessed July 22, 2012.
  5. Silke Hasselmann: Farewell to the "USS Enterprise". After 51 years of service. In: December 1, 2012, archived from the original on December 26, 2012 ; Retrieved December 1, 2012 .
  6. Navy CVN-21 Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress ( Memento of September 2, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) , as of August 25, 2007.
  7. ^ Ford Christening Connects President to Navy Roots. In: , tory Number NNS131109-04, September 11, 2013.
  8. Article of the International Herald Tribune on the decision on naming. As of August 25, 2007.
  9. "USS Gerald R. Ford": This is the most expensive warship in the world. In: Spiegel Online . July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017 .
  10. New aircraft carrier launched in USA. Voice of Russia, November 9, 2013, accessed November 10, 2013 .
  11. Giant aircraft carrier christened. In: .
  12. Dr. J. Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test & Evaluation Office of the Secretary of Defense (Pentagon) in a 30-page operational assessment of the CVN-78 program to Secretary of Defense Hagel ; as quoted in Marineforum , issue 4/2014, p. 38 ff.
  13. The US Navy's $ 13 billion new aircraft carrier can't fight. In: July 25, 2016, accessed November 13, 2016 .
  14. ^ Future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). In: April 8, 2017, accessed April 11, 2017 .
  15. ^ L'USS Gerald R. Ford livré à la flotte américaine. In: June 1, 2017, accessed June 3, 2017 .
  16. ^ Future USS Gerald R. Ford Delivered to the Navy. June 1, 2017, accessed June 3, 2017 .
  17. L'US Navy va mettre en service son nouveau porte-avions. In: July 21, 2017, accessed July 21, 2017 (French).
  18. ^ Aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford: The new master of the sea. In: July 21, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017 .
  19. The most expensive warship. In: July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017 .