News / USA

    US Christens Next-Generation Aircraft Carrier

    'Chapter in Naval Warfare'i
    X
    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.

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora