News / USA

US Christens Next-Generation Aircraft Carrier

'Chapter in Naval Warfare'i
November 09, 2013 11:39 PM
The U.S. has christened its next-generation aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford, which can operate with fewer personnel, is designed for combat in unconventional conflict and will be able to launch drones when it becomes operational in 2016. Correspondent Luis Ramirez has more.
VIDEO: Designed for unconventional conflict, nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford will be able to launch drones once operational in 2016
Luis Ramirez
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the late U.S. President Gerald Ford, smashed a bottle of wine across the bow of the 100,000-ton nuclear-powered USS Gerald R. Ford at Newport News Shipyard Saturday morning.
Built at a cost of nearly $13 billion and opening what officials say is a new chapter in naval warfare, the newly christened next-generation aircraft carrier, unlike its steam-dependent predecessors, is completely electric.
Designed to operate with fewer personnel in unconventional conflict, the vessel will be able to launch drones when it becomes operational in 2016.
Onboard the first of the Ford-class carriers, workers install the last of 3 million meters of cables as Project Manager Rolf Bartschi explains that the ship's most prominent new feature is its dependence on electromagnetic energy — rather than steam — to more gently and precisely launch and land aircraft on its flight deck.
“This system has a lot more flexibility to it, and I think it will bring more service life to the aircraft that get used on it and allow you to have a broader spectrum of aircraft that you can bring in and land on the ship," he says.
In an era when fewer countries around the world grant landing rights to U.S. warplanes and drones, the deck will serve as a floating base for unmanned aerial vehicles.
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Moore, who is responsible for the ship's construction, says this feature is key to the vessel's role in modern conflicts.
“Not only does the aircraft carrier provide the presence that we need to fight full-scale wars, but it also has the ability to maneuver in the free space of the oceans anywhere in the world," he says. "The ability to have on board all sorts of unmanned aircraft will give it a real advantage in an asymmetric standpoint.”
But the warship also has a gentle side: with much of the equipment is bolted down, not welded, the craft can quickly reconfigure for humanitarian missions.
“So if ... you want to do a humanitarian mission, and you need to have more space in here with desks, computers, tracking screens, you can easily bring them in and rewire the space in a matter of days," says construction director Tom Cullen as he shows that the entire ship is wired so components can be plugged in and be ready to go.
The ship will operate with up to 1,200 fewer personnel than current aircraft carriers do, saving the Navy billions of dollars.

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Comment Sorting
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
November 11, 2013 12:25 AM
The US looks pitiful for me when I hear about this kind of news making efforts to arm and being proud of their power. What a exhausting and wasing matter it is!! Iam sure this warship would not work at all for helping the US from the attack by terrorists as warplanes failed to beat guerrillas in Vietnam war.

Even verwhelming equipments could not extinguish hate of enemies rather than boosting it. As you Amercan people can not lay guns claiming freedom for armament disguising in a fact selfishness and distrust to others and keep killing each others, the US can not take disarmament and must keep killing foreign people with drones for ever.

by: moose4u2 from: usa
November 10, 2013 1:15 PM
what a waste of money for a dinosaur like this . one well placed missile & its down to Davy Jones locker .People in this country are having a really hard time just to pay their bills & this government thinks nothing of spending outrageous amounts of tax payer money.What a shame corruption is rampant. Cost overruns should be paid by the company as they got the contract to build it by under bidding other companies. The government should accountable to we the people .Everyone involved in this should be fired .WAKE UP AMERICA before they steal the food right out from your kids mouth.

by: Mary from: USA
November 10, 2013 10:50 AM
Think of how many people could have the so-called "affordable health care" which is already bankrupting America with $13BILLION!! Yet we spend it on a ship, for wars that our own so-called "government" manufactures. The USA is a sinking ship that makes the Titanic look like a rubber duck story.
In Response

by: Patriot from: USA
December 04, 2013 6:14 PM
If you want national health care move to Canada you commie. Health care wont work with or without the building of aircraft carriers. Why? because regular people wont stand for being forced to pay for the health insurance of people with preexisting conditions. If you want health care buy it yourself. This ship is badass and reminds Russia and China that we have been and will remain number 1.

by: Jfrank from: jos, NIGERIA
November 10, 2013 5:47 AM
Bring it on,America must maintain it military superiority to remain relevant and unchallenged.

by: chukwuemeka Ukor from: lagos,Nigeria.
November 10, 2013 3:20 AM
The modern ship to carry drones plane is ok,more has to be build.but provided u.s.govts will use it to counter all terroists activities to smash them wherever they hide.

by: Whistleblower from: D.C.
November 09, 2013 9:26 PM
As the CIA created Al Qaeda, and arms, funds, runs, and trains them, we can now put a $13BILLION ship to use in the PHONY WAR ON TERROR! What a travesty!
In Response

by: Patriot from: USA
December 04, 2013 6:17 PM
Wow talk about conspiracy theorist. Your just an ignorant liberal who doesn't understand that the real world isn't filled with roses and the only reason that you and the entire world is not called Germany or communist is because of the U.S. military.

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