U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 performs a replenishment-at-sea


U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls alongside USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) perform a replenishment-at-sea on May 15, 2020, to continue carrier qualifications. Ford is a first-in-class aircraft carrier and the first new carrier designed in more than 40 years.
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U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford CVN 78 performs a replenishment at sea 925 001 USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls alongside USNS Patuxent (T-AO 201) during a replenishment-at-sea May 15, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


On May 13, 2020, U.S. Navy has announced that USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) aircraft carrier has started the second round of carrier qualifications. It is the Navy's first aircraft carrier to be completely designed using a 3-dimensional product model. Newport News Shipbuilding utilized the latest and most advanced computer tool capabilities and functionalities for visual integration in design, engineering, planning and construction.

The aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) was delivered to the U.S. Navy in June 2017. The aircraft carrier successfully completed acceptance trials on May 26, 2017. he Ford class features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for future technologies. Each Ford-class ship will operate with a smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier and will provide $4 billion in total ownership cost savings for the Navy. 

Gerald R. Ford is intended to be the first of a class of aircraft carriers that offer significant performance improvements over the previous Nimitz class. Gerald R. Ford is equipped with AN/SPY-3 and AN/SPY-4 active electronically scanned array multi-function radar, and an island that is shorter in length and 20 feet (6.1 m) taller than that of the Nimitz class; it is set 140 feet (43 m) further aft and 3 feet (0.91 m) closer to the edge of the ship. Replacing traditional steam catapults, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) will launch all carrier aircraft. This innovation eliminates the traditional requirement to generate and store steam, freeing up considerable area below-deck. With the EMALS, Gerald R. Ford can accomplish 25% more aircraft launches per day than the Nimitz class and requires 25% fewer crew members.

The Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier is able to carry up to 90 aircraft, including the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, F / A-18E / F Super Hornet, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, MH-60R / S helicopters, as well as unmanned air and combat vehicles.

The USNS Patuxent (T-AO-201) is a Henry J. Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler operated by the Military Sealift Command to support ships of the United States Navy.


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