US Navy the newest and most advanced aircraft carrier The ship departed its first deployment Tuesday from Norfolk, Virginia, which was designed to speed up the ship and train with allies in North America and Europe.
The USS Gerald Ford is the first new aircraft carrier to be designed “in more than 40 years,” according to the US Navy. Construction of the carrier officially began in November 2009, and it was commissioned by former President Donald Trump in 2017, according to the US Navy.
The ship is the first Ford-class aircraft carrier. The Navy has begun construction on the next two Ford-class carriers, the USS Kennedy and the USS Enterprise.
The aircraft carrier has new, advanced technology that is “about three times the electrical power” of Nimitz-class carriers and uses an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, or EMALS, according to the Navy.
The EMALS system uses electricity to launch aircraft from the ship instead of the previous steam catapult system. Since the system is launched from a carrier, it puts less stress on the aircraft and will allow for less time between launches, a Navy official said.
The carrier also has a dual-band radar with a more advanced radar system. It is the only advanced carrier to have such a radar, the official said.
USS Gerald Ford and the aircraft carrier strike group will operate alongside allies and partners in the 2nd and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean Seas, a US Navy official said. The official added that the deployment will be shorter than the standard six-month deployment.
“This deployment is an opportunity to push the ball further down the line and demonstrate the advantage that Ford and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 bring to the future of naval aviation, to the region and to our allies and partners,” Carrier Strike Group said. 12 Commander Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman said in a statement.
The US Navy said in a statement that the deployment would involve “approximately 9,000 personnel, 20 ships and 60 aircraft from nine countries.” Countries participating in the exercise include the United States, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
While the USS Gerald Ford departs Tuesday, other ships in the carrier strike group will depart Wednesday to join the Ford, a second Navy official said. This is common for these placements.