USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier launched

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier launched
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier launched
Anonim

On November 9, the newest aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford was launched at the American shipyard Newport News. Unlike the recent launching of the destroyer Zumwalt, this time the shipbuilding industry and the military staged a ceremony. In accordance with tradition, a bottle of champagne was broken on the bow of the ship. The godmother of the new aircraft carrier is Susan Ford Blaze, the daughter of former US President Gerald Ford, after whom the ship is named. Several speeches were made during the ceremony. It is especially worth noting the words of the commander of naval operations, Admiral J. Greenert. In his opinion, the newest aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford is "a real miracle of technology."

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To date, according to the American media, the construction of the new ship has been completed by 70%. Now workers of the Newport News plant are preparing for the final stage of construction: the ship, moored to the outfitting wall, will be equipped with the remaining equipment for various purposes and weapons. It is planned to spend about a year and a half on these works. Already in 2015, the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) will be released for testing. Acceptance of the ship into the US Navy is scheduled for 2015.

In just a couple of years, the United States Navy will receive a new aircraft carrier, superior in performance and capabilities to existing aircraft carriers. The new project provides for the use of a number of new systems and technical solutions that significantly increase the combat potential of the ship. Thus, the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford will use two A1B nuclear reactors as the main power plant. These reactors were created specifically for promising aircraft carriers and therefore have a number of characteristic features. First of all, it is a lot of power. The A1B reactors are smaller than the A4W (the reactors used on modern Nimitz-class ships), but they are 25% more powerful. In addition, reactors do not require replacement of nuclear fuel during the entire service life of an aircraft carrier - 50 years.

A powerful power plant made it possible to use EMALS electromagnetic catapults on the new aircraft carrier. These systems, in contrast to the steam systems used on existing aircraft carriers, will increase the intensity of flights. Under normal conditions, the USS Gerald R. Ford with the help of electromagnetic catapults will be able to provide 160 sorties per day against 120 for existing ships. If necessary, it is possible to carry out 220 launches per day. In addition to the new catapults, the aircraft carrier is expected to be equipped with an improved aerofinisher capable of working with existing and future carrier-based aircraft.

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The new aircraft carrier will be able to carry up to 90 aircraft and helicopters of various types. During the first years of service, the composition of the air group will hardly differ from the composition of the groups of existing aircraft carriers. However, in the future, it is planned to replace the Boeing F / A-18E / F Super Hornet fighter-bombers with the newest Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II. Until the end of the decade, the Northrop Grumman X-47 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) may join the USS Gerald R. Ford's air group. According to reports, some technical solutions have already been used in the design of the new aircraft carrier, which in the future will allow the use of promising remote-controlled equipment.

"True technology miracle" has a price tag. According to various sources, for the development and construction of the USS Gerald R.Ford spent $ 13-14 billion. Previously, the construction cost of the first ship of a new type was estimated at no more than 8-10 billion, but the use of a number of new systems and technologies led to a significant change in the financial indicators of the project. At the same time, according to the project developers, the reduction of the ship's crew alone will help to achieve tangible savings. For 50 years of service on such expenses it will be possible to save about 3.5-4 billion dollars. An increase in the intensity of flights should also affect the total cost of the ship's life cycle. According to various estimates, the operation of aircraft carriers of the Gerald R. Ford project will cost the US budget not much more than the use of ships of the Nimitz class.

According to the current plans of the Pentagon, over the next few decades, American factories should build ten new aircraft carriers. Taking turns joining the naval forces, they will replace the existing ships. However, for a number of reasons, the first such replacement will take place only in a few years. The new aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is considered a replacement for the USS Enterprise (CVN-65). However, the latter was decommissioned in December 2012, and Gerald R. Ford will be delivered to the customer no earlier than 2015.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier launched

In the near future, construction of the next aircraft carrier of the Gerald R. Ford project will begin. USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) will be launched in 2018 and commissioned in 2020. The third aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-90), is expected to be ordered in fiscal 2018 and operational in the middle of the next decade. The last of the ten planned ships is expected to enter service in the late fifties. Such a construction schedule will allow for the gradual decommissioning and replacement of the aircraft carriers of the Nimitz project currently in use.

It should be noted that a number of aspects of the new project have been criticized. Claims are caused by the excessive cost of the project, insufficient growth in combat effectiveness, etc. features of aircraft carriers of the Gerald R. Ford project. Nevertheless, plans for the construction of new ships with an air group have recently undergone only minor changes. The Pentagon does not intend to abandon its plans, but in the future it is going to switch to the use of 10 aircraft carriers instead of 11. Such an approach is expected to reduce costs without sacrificing defense capabilities.

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