US Navy names new aircraft carrier after Gerald Ford
Washington – The US Navy has christened the first ship of a new class of aircraft carriers after the 38th US President Gerald R. Ford.
A special ceremony was organised to mark the christening at the Huntington-Ingalls Industries Newport new shipyard in the state of Virginia Saturday, reported Xinhua.
Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former president Gerald Ford and also the ship’s sponsor, officially christened the ship by breaking a champagne bottle against a plate welded to the hull.
“It’s amazing, it’s such a special moment. I just wish my dad could be here to break the bottle instead of me, or even watch me break the bottle,” Susan Ford Bales said.
The new aircraft carrier is designated CVN 78, the lead ship of the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carriers. It is the first with new design in more than 40 years and will eventually replace all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.
“It’s a fantastic ship. The technology that’s gone into the ship is really state of the art. It’s the most technologically advanced ship in the world,” said Capt. John Meier, the commanding officer of the new aircraft carrier.
The Gerald Ford carrier has a host of new features such as a new nuclear power plant, electromagnetic aircraft launching system, advanced arresting gear, dual band radar, and all electric auxiliaries.
It is designed for a 50-year service life with one mid-life refuelling complex overhaul.
The Gerald Ford carrier will replace the USS Enterprise, which was de-activated last year. With the new addition, the US Navy maintains a fleet of 11 super carriers.