5 Things You Might Not Know About CVN 78/Ford Class

Test your knowledge about CVN 78 and the Ford-class of aircraft carriers with these five things that you may not know:

1) USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the lead ship in the Ford-class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years. CVN 78 will be delivered in spring of 2016 as the fleet numerical replacement to CVN 65 (USS Enterprise). Follow on Ford class carriers will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers.

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NORFOLK (Nov. 17, 2013) The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is moved to Pier 3 at Newport News Shipbuilding. The ship will undergo additional outfitting and testing for the next 28 months. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Chris Oxley/Released)


2) Because the island is smaller and farther aft than the Nimitz‐class, increasing space for flight deck operations and aircraft maintenance, CVN 78 is capable of generating 33 percent more sorties (flight missions) per day than Nimitz‐class carriers.

WASHINGTON (May 12, 2012) A design rendering of the nuclear-powered, aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Gerald R. Ford is the first in a class of new carriers to be built by Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. (U.S. Navy photo illustration courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding/Released)

WASHINGTON (May 12, 2012) A design rendering of the nuclear-powered, aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Gerald R. Ford is the first in a class of new carriers to be built by Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. (U.S. Navy photo illustration courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding/Released)


3) An Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), similar to the system that powers many of today’s roller coasters, replaces steam catapults, enabling a smoother launch and capability to support the air wing of the future.


4) The Ford class design enables the Navy to operate the ship with less manpower, saving the Navy more than $4 billion in total ownership costs over each ship’s 50‐year life, when compared to today’s Nimitz class aircraft carriers.


5) CVN 78 is the first aircraft carrier to make a significant leap to electrical power, with three times the generating capacity of Nimitz class to allow replacing legacy steam‐powered systems and providing margins and ship weight allowance to incorporate future technologies.

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