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Pics of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) (Image heavy)

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Hi guys! Today I had some inspiration and wanted to give you a bit of a change of pace. Don't worry, the IJN DDs will be out later today/tomorrow. Today I wanted to bring you some pictures of the US Navy's latest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)(Hereafter shortened to Gerald Ford). She is the newest aircraft carrier design in over 40 years, and she takes the USS Enterprise (CVN-65)'s place after her decommissioning after 51 years of service.

Let's get this show on the seas!

 

 

 

Before the pics, I will give her specs: She was laid down on November 13, 2009; launched and christened on November 9, 2013, and was sponsored by Susan Ford Bales. Her displacement is 100,000 tons fully loaded, she has a length of 1,106 feet (337 m), a width of 134 ft (41 m) at the waterline, 256 ft (78 m) at the flight deck; her height is 250 ft (76 m) from keel to island top; she has 25 decks. Her powerplant is 2 x A1B nuclear reactors turning 4 shafts, propelling her to speeds in excess of 30+ knots (True speed is classified). Her range is unlimited and she carries enough fuel for 20-25 years of continuous service. Her armament consists of RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM), Phalanx Close In Weapons System (CIWS), and more than 75 aircraft; her complement is over 5,000+. She is the first of her class, 10 are planned, 2 are under construction; her sisters are currently USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), and USS Enterprise (CVN-80).

 

 

EIEnUQG.jpg

I start off with the fitting of her 555 metric ton island onto her flight deck in January, 2013. The lift took place at a ceremony for the last super-lift of the build at Huntington-Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, the only designer, builder, and refueller of the US Navy's nuclear carriers, and one of two providers of the USN's submarine force. In contrast to the carriers before her, the island is being placed farther aft, behind all of the starboard elevators; and is a completely new design.

 

 

sD3MqGi.jpg

A bow on view of her naked undersides (Lewd), including her bulbous bow, superstructure sweeps up to the flight deck, and anchor holds. As is Navy tradition, a time capsule was welded into a small room under the floor, and the items within, chosen by Gerald Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales, and includes sandstone from the White House, Navy challenge coins, and aviator wings from its first commanding officer.

 

 

tHhZoUt.jpg

Gerald Ford, now fully afloat, continues her fitting out at Newport News Shipbuilding. Now that we can see a view of the flight deck you can see how much the design differs from the Nimitz-class. She uses new catapults too, as opposed to the traditional steam powered ones, Gerald Ford and her subsequent sisters use a Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), this frees up space normally used for storing and producing steam, giving her more below-deck square footage. With this new launcher, she can launch 25% more aircraft per day more than the Nimitz-class, and requires 25% less crew. 

 

 

5Xlikn4.jpg

Gerald Ford being maneuvered by tugs on the James River, June 11, 2016. She is currently undergoing operational testing, which involves testing every aspect of the ship. From the EMALS and the arrestor cables, to the reactor tests and sea trials. She has completed all sea trials (Which are to test a ship's sea worthiness), though, as with any new ship class, there are teething troubles to work through.

 

 

5CaLF2I.jpg

A look at Gerald Ford's stern construction. She got underway on her own power for the first time on April 8, 2017 as she headed to sea for Builder's trials. She completed the trials and returned to port at Naval Station Norfolk on April 14, 2017.

 

 

sWGLXhq.jpg

Gerald Ford underway for Builder's trials, being pushed into the bay by tugs. Sailors man the rails as she departs Newport News Shipbuilding for her trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies.

 

 

DASdTTq.jpg

A breathtaking port beam view of Gerald Ford, fully complete, deck free and underway; tug for scale. Gerald Ford is scheduled to be commissioned later this year and fill the void left by Enterprise after her decommissioning, though truly the void will only be filled by Enterprise herself. 

 

 

V2xyTls.jpg

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Gerald R. Ford-class supercarrier. She, and the USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) represent the next generation of the US Navy. A navy that humbly began as six frigates (Including USS Constitution), and now is the most powerful navy in the world protecting her people, aiding others from natural disasters, and should the need arise, waging war.

 

 

aJUKcPo.png

Gerald Ford's badge.

 

 

 

 

That's all for now folks I hope you enjoy! The final IJN destroyer series is coming either later today or tomorrow. As always: 

Fair winds and following seas captains! :honoring:

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The more I think about the USN carrier force, the more I grow concerned with its viability. It's a great way to project power, but it's essentially putting all your eggs in one basket. 

 

Our enemies basically have a handful of "boss battles" and then they win.

 

Very impressive nonetheless. 

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The more I think about the USN carrier force, the more I grow concerned with its viability. It's a great way to project power, but it's essentially putting all your eggs in one basket. 

 

Our enemies basically have a handful of "boss battles" and then they win.

 

Very impressive nonetheless. 

 

That's partially why I'm happy their developing the railgun, and fitting more guns on ships like Zumwalt. There are a lot of counters to an aircraft. As are there to a missile. But a shell on the other hand is a different story.

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They ever get those magnetic catapult launchers working?

 

I guess so,  I didn't see anything that suggested that they needed more work.

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Once again Doomlock presents a stunning post! Go Navy! +1

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That's pretty cool. Glad they finally got underway. We were parked next to her for quite a while when I was on the Enterprise.

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As someone who is also really excited about the Ford these pictures never get old (though you could have put them into spoilers tabs to keep the scrolling down)

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As someone who is also really excited about the Ford these pictures never get old (though you could have put them into spoilers tabs to keep the scrolling down)

 

I know, but that's how I've done these. I do warn that it is image intensive in the title 

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The more I think about the USN carrier force, the more I grow concerned with its viability. It's a great way to project power, but it's essentially putting all your eggs in one basket. 

 

Our enemies basically have a handful of "boss battles" and then they win.

Let me reassure you: these "Boss Battles" are against Carrier Strike Groups with more ships of each class than most navies have total.

Edited by Carrier_Lexington

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Let me reassure you: these "Boss Battles" are against Carrier Strike Groups with more ships of each class than most navies have total.

 

All it takes is one tactical nuke or torpedo getting through, and the "boss" is obliterated. 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kombat_W0MBAT

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All it takes is one tactical nuke or torpedo getting through, and the "boss" is obliterated. 

Except that carriers are capable of surviving multiple torpedoes, even the Mk.48 Deep Diving torpedo (the second-most deadly type of torpedo in existence except for the out-of-commission nuclear torpedo), and they can travel at up to 50 knots in any given direction, making targeting any nuclear ballistic missile incredibly difficult. And the US will know if someone suddenly launches a nuke.

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