Welcome to Navy Live blog coverage of the July 22 commissioning of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).
Live video from Naval Station Norfolk, Va.
President Donald J. Trump will deliver the ceremony’s principal address. Susan Ford Bales, Ford’s daughter, serves as the ship’s sponsor.
|General Characteristics, Nimitz class|
|Builder: Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding Co., Newport News, Virginia|
|Date Deployed: May 3, 1975 (USS Nimitz).|
|Unit Cost: About $8.5 billion in constant year FY 12 dollars.|
|Propulsion: Two nuclear reactors, four shafts.|
|Length: 1,092 feet (332.85 meters).|
|Beam: 134 feet (40.84 meters); Flight Deck Width: 252 feet (76.8 meters).|
|Displacement: Approximately 97,000 tons (87,996.9 metric tons) full load.|
|Speed: 30+ knots (34.5+ miles per hour).|
|Crew: Ship’s Company: 3,000-3,200, air wing: 1,500, other: 500.|
|Armament: Multiple NATO Sea Sparrow, Phalanx CIWS and Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) mounts.|
|Aircraft: Approximately 60+.|
|USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Bremerton, Washington|
|USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), Norfolk, Virginia|
|USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), San Diego, California|
|USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), San Diego, California|
|USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), Newport News, Virginia|
|USS George Washington (CVN 73), Norfolk, Virginia|
|USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Bremerton, Washington|
|USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), Norfolk, Virginia|
|USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Yokosuka, Japan|
|USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Norfolk, Virginia|
CVN-78 is the lead ship of the new Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years and will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers when the ship is commissioned. The Ford class incorporates advances in technology such as a new reactor plant, propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, Dual Band Radar and integrated warfare systems. Compared to Nimitz-class carriers, the Gerald R. Ford-class carriers have more than 23 new or modified systems.
USS Gerald R. Ford honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the U.S. government and to the nation. During World War II, Ford attained the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy, serving on the light carrier USS Monterey (CVL 26). Released from active duty in February 1946, Ford remained in the Naval Reserve until 1963. Ford was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1948, where he served until President Nixon tapped him to become Vice President in 1973. Ford became president in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal and served in the country’s highest office from 1974-1977.