The Ford is the firts in new class ships for the 21st century.
The Largest warship in the world.
Powered by two nuclear reactors and cost nearly $13 billion to build.
An Electromagnetic aircraft launcher replaces steam catapults.
The ship has 10 million feet of electrical wires.
4 million feet of fiber optic cable.
It can carry 4,539 navy crew, airwing personell & staff.
It can hold more than 75 aircraft
CVN 78 is the first aircraft carrier to be designed in a full-scale 3D product model.
The USS Ford will produce 400,000 gallons of fresh water everyday; sailors wont have to worry about long showers.
The ship kitchen will also produce 15,000 meals a day.
Evolution of an Aircraft Carrier
The USS Gerald is really the next generation of the Nimitz class. The hull is the same size, but the vessel has been optimized and modernized, to make it a far more capable ship. The new design relocates the island house (the primary flight control and the bridge), reduces the number of aircraft elevators from four to three, and increases the sortie rate by 25 percent, helping to more quickly deploy aircraft, ships, or sets of troops.
The USS Gerald also has three times the electric plant capacity—a capability meant to last through technology changes over its lifespan of fifty years. A new nervous system includes millions of feet of fiber optic cable, which greatly increases data speeds and capacities, and also adds durability, as fiber optic cable can endure marine life better than metal alternatives.
The Automated Sailor
This city on the sea has a lower population than its predecessor. "Nimitz was designed when the Navy had more sailors," Newport News Shipbuilding's President Matt Mulherin told us. "At the time, I don't think they really thought about what the cost of an individual sailor was. Today they do. That drives a lot of the operating and maintenance costs of the ship. So we've taken off a lot of bunks, and taken off workload for a lot of sailors... but it retains all of the functionality of the Nimitz-class ships."
The ship is more automated than any before it, which gives it increased capability despite the reduced crew. For the sailors that are there, things will be more comfortable. The whole carrier will be air-conditioned—a first—which adds comfort and also reduces components' and computers' corrosion from exposure to salt air.
Electromagnetic Airplane Slingshots
Nimitz-class carriers got planes moving for takeoff using steam-actuated catapults. The system required a lot of steam piping, a large condensate return, and tons of fresh water. They also have a lot of maintenence issues. Plus, with steam-actuation, the majority of the force is being transferred to the airplane at the beginning of the stroke—it's one hell of a jolt. But a more linear pattern of acceleration could put less stress on an airframe, and thus get a longer lifespan out of the multi-million dollar plane. That's where EMALS comes in.
EMALS stands for Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System. It uses a linear induction motor with an electric current to generate a magnetic field. That field then propels a carriage down a track. It's basically a gigantic railgun that launches airplanes instead of shells. Pretty damn cool.
The EMALS can accomodate lightweight drones and planes heavier than those we have today. It reaches top speeds gently, reloads more quickly, and requires less maintenance. The arresting gear (the mechanism which catches the planes as they return) will use EMALS technology as well, as will the elevators for the airplanes and weapons. The Ford class essentially eliminates steam from the equation.