U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford. Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Navy
Kyle Mizokami, National Interest: Why China and Russia Fear America's New Ford-Class Aircraft Carriers
In 2009, the U.S. Navy finally began construction of the first new type of aircraft carrier in nearly thirty-five years. Named after former president and naval aviator Gerald R. Ford, the USS Ford fully takes the nuclear supercarrier into the twenty-first century. The technological innovations built into the new ship, while causing the inevitable delays involved in building a first-in-class vessel, will keep the Navy’s unique fleet of super flattops the largest and most advanced in the world for the foreseeable future.
USS Ford follows in the steps of the highly successful Nimitz-class carriers. Construction began in 2009 at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Virginia—the same location where the Ford’s predecessors were built. Indeed, the Ford class resembles the Nimitz ships in many ways: they measure 1,106 feet long versus the Nimitz’s 1,092 feet. Both classes weigh the same: approximately one hundred thousand tons fully loaded. Layout is similar, too, with an island on the starboard side, four catapults and an angled flight deck.
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WNU Editor: I am sure that both Russia and China are watching this U.S. aircraft carrier program very closely .... and see it as one big target.