The most ambitious project of US Navy, probably after the Zumwalt class, the Gerard Ford Class’ flagship, Gerald R. Ford finally got underway Saturday under her own power. This comes after years of delays, sweat, billions of dollars spent.
The supercarrier will displace about 100,000 tonnes,when complete, which seems to be standard for all supercarriers till date, including the Nimitz class which it is going to replace. About a thousand sailors were joined aboard by hundreds of officials and workers from Naval Nuclear Reactors, Naval Sea Systems Command and Newport News Shipbuilding as the ship started to move for her sea trials.
Construction of the lead ship began on 11 August 2005, when Northrop Grumman held a ceremonial steel cut for a 15-ton plate that will form part of a side shell unit of the carrier. She was constructed in a huge graving dock at Newport News,a dock big enough to hold two of her kind. The ship was christened by Susan Ford, daughter of namesake President Ford, on Nov. 9, 2013.
The ship was originally planned to be operational and joining the fleet by 2014, but construction delays pushed the delivery date and not just once. The ship faced many issues during its construction that delayed the project to this date, with the latest one being encountered last year in main turbines.
The ship is expected to join the service by the end of the year, while the second ship, John F Kennedy, is also under construction in the same dockyard.
Pic credits to owner