Gerald R. Ford

Global engineering and defense technologies provider HII announced on March 01, 2022 that the company’s Newport News Shipbuilding division completed the first Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) for aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in a new class of aircraft carriers that incorporates 23 new technologies, designed to support the Navy’s air wing of the future.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)
Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) departs HII’s Newport News Shipbuilding division on Friday, February 25, 2022 after its planned incremental availability

«It is truly an honor and a privilege for our shipbuilding team to ready this most technologically advanced aircraft carrier for the Navy fleet», said Lucas Hicks, vice president of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) and USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) aircraft carrier programs. «We look forward to folding what we learned into the entire Gerald R. Ford class, extending the Navy’s power projection advantage around the globe».

Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers incorporate new technologies such as electromagnetic catapults and weapons elevators, a redesigned flight deck and island, and more than twice the electrical capacity of Nimitz-class carriers. These aircraft carriers are designed to be the centerpiece of the Navy’s deployed battle force and alongside allies and partners, they defend freedom, preserve economic prosperity and keep the seas open and free.

The PIA involved six months of modernization and maintenance work to ensure Gerald R. Ford has the most current upgrades prior to the carrier’s maiden deployment. The ship entered the PIA in September 2021 after completing full ship shock trials and a successful post-delivery test and trials period.

Three other Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers are currently under construction at Newport News Shipbuilding. They include USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79), USS Enterprise (CVN-80) and USS Doris Miller (CVN-81). In addition, Newport News Shipbuilding is conducting mid-life refueling complex overhauls on two Nimitz-class aircraft carriers – USS George Washington (CVN-73) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74). These overhauls will extend the service life for each platform by another 25 years, ensuring the Navy is positioned to deploy a fleet of aircraft carriers ready to support national security requirements.


General Characteristics

Builder Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Virginia
Propulsion 2 A1B* nuclear reactors, 4 shafts
Length 1,092 feet/333 m
Beam 134 feet/41 m
Flight Deck Width 256 feet/78 m
Flight Deck Square 217,796 feet2/20,234 m2
Displacement approximately 100,000 long tons full load
Speed 30+ knots/34.5+ mph/55.5+ km/h
Crew 4,539 (ship, air wing and staff)
Armament ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile), Mk-15 Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
Aircraft 75+

* – Bechtel Plant Machinery, Inc. serves the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program



Ship Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) 11-13-2009 11-09-2013 07-22-2017 Norfolk, Virginia
USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) 08-22-2015 10-29-2019
USS Enterprise (CVN-80)
USS Doris Miller (CVN-81)