USS Gerald R Ford

USS Gerald Ford: America’s Answer To HMS Queen Elizabeth

Donald Trump officially launched America’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, on July 22.

USS Gerald R Ford

Donald Trump officially launched America’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, on July 22.

After eight years of construction, the £10 billion ship joins a fleet of 10 other US aircraft carriers.

The ship is the first in a new generation of carriers, introducing technological improvements over the Nimitz-class.

Among the upgrades is a touch-screen navigation display has replaced the throttle system used to power and steer the US Navy's older carriers.

At 335 meters in length, it’s no wonder that costs were high in this mammoth ship’s development.

By way of comparison, HMS Queen Elizabeth comes in at 280 meters.

And whilst Elizabeth will be home to 1,600 sailors and aircrew, the Ford will operate with a crew of 2,600.

With brand-new electromagnetic catapults and advanced arresting gear, coupled with new structural designs, USS Gerald R. Ford is state-of the art.

The technology and design will allow the Ford to launch 33% more aircraft than older carriers – 75+. HMS Queen Elizabeth will have the capacity to embark a maximum of 36 F-35B and four CROWSNEST AEW helicopters.

The US Navy has operated 10 carriers since the retirement of the USS Enterprise in 2012 -- one fewer than the 11 carrier-force mandated by Congress in 2011.

Its newest ship is the first of three Gerald R. Ford-class carriers ordered by the Navy, and their combined cost is expected be close to $42 billion.

Compared to the estimated £10bn that the first of these ships has cost, our own carriers (both HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales) are great value at just £6.2bn!

Despite delays to the Ford's delivery, the Navy said that the Ford-class carriers will yield a $4 billion reduction per ship cost as compared to its predecessors.

But the ship will still have to undergo months of thorough testing before its first deployment in 2020.