US Navy commissions new nuclear ship

24 July 2017

The US Navy's newest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier - the Gerald R Ford - has been formally commissioned by President Donald Trump at a ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia.

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Sailors "man the rails" of the Gerald R Ford during its commissioning ceremony
(Image: US Navy/Andrew J Sneeringer)

Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) is the lead ship in the Ford-class of aircraft carrier, the US Navy's first new class in more than 40 years, and will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers. It is named after the 38th president of the USA, who served as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy.

The first US aircraft carrier to be entirely electrically powered, its two Bechtel A1B reactors are about 25% more powerful than the A4W units in the USA's Nimitz-class aircraft carriers and provide 2-3 times as much electricity.

Built by Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News Shipbuilding, the vessel is 1092 feet (333 metres) long and will carry a crew of about 4550, including ship, air wing and staff. It was formally delivered to the US Navy on 31 May after successfully completing acceptance trials.

Construction of the second Ford-class vessel, the John F Kennedy (CVN 79), began in 2015. A third vessel, the Enterprise (CVN 80), is also planned.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: Nuclear propulsion, USA