|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||Jun 02, 2017 06:19 AM EDT|
(Photo : US Navy) The brand new USS Gerald R. Ford during her sea trials.
The U.S. Navy said its newest and largest nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), will be ready for battle in 2020.
This following the Navy's accepting the delivery of CVN-78 on May 31. Delivery followed the warship's successful completion of acceptance trials last May 26.
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She will be commissioned into the fleet in June, formally placing the ship into active service. A "shakedown" period will follow where the carrier will conduct several at-sea events to provide longer underway periods for the ship's crew to operate and train on ship systems.
The next generation CVN-78 is expected to become operational as a combat platform in 2020 after achieving initial operational capability.
USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship of its class and the first new-design aircraft carrier delivered to the navy since USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in 1975. She's also the first aircraft carrier to join the fleet since USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) delivered in 2009.
The Gerald R. Ford-class, which consists of three carriers, delivers unprecedented flexibility to the fleet. This advantage accrues to the carrier's larger flight deck; the ability to host more aircraft; more weapons and aviation fuel storage and the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG).
Using EMALS and AAG will allow the carrier to increase sortie rates by one-third when compared to the Nimitz-class. CVN-78 generates three times the amount of electricity as previous classes and is designed to rapidly add capabilities as new systems become available over the course of its projected 50-year service life.
The carrier will retain its current designation as PCU (Pre-commissioning Unit) Gerald R. Ford until her commissioning into the Navy. She will officially become USS (United States Ship) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) only after her commissioning.
Her keel was laid in 2009 under the administration of former U.S. president Barack Obama. She will be the first -- and only carrier -- to be commissioned under the presidency of Donald Trump.
She's the first of the three-ship Gerald R. Ford-class of aircraft carrier, the first new navy carrier class in over 40 years. The warship is named after the 38th president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, who was in office from 1974 to 1977.
She has two other sister ships: USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) to be launched in 2018 and currently under construction and the USS Enterprise (CVN-80) scheduled for launch in 2023.
The Ford began her acceptance trials on May 24 and completed them two days later.
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