The manufacturing process of the Gerald R. Ford-class super aircraft carrier


USS Gerald R. Ford and USS John F. Kennedy are two new Gerald R. Ford-class super aircraft carriers that will soon be equipped for the US Navy. In March, USS Gerald R. Ford (vessel code CVN-78) will officially enter service and it will replace the legendary aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65), which is more than 51 years old. Meanwhile, USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is still under construction and is expected to be operational by 2020.

According to the convention of naming warships established by the late President Theodore Rossevelt, aircraft carriers (codenames CV and CVN) will bear the names of naval admirals and politicians (usually presidents) in honor of their name after their death. With the exception of the USS Enterprise, the remaining aircraft carriers bear the names of US presidents, starting with USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67).

In the case of CVN-78, the decision to name the 38th president of the United States was proposed by US President George W. Bush on October 17, 2006. At this time, Gerald Ford is still alive and well. It was not until January 2007 that after Gerald Ford passed away (December 26, 2006), the US naval chief Donald Winter officially announced that the CVN-78 would be named USS Gerald R. Ford in accordance with the naming convention. .

Meanwhile, CVN-79 is the third battleship named after a deceased member of the Kennedy family and the second aircraft carrier named John F. Kennedy (formerly USS John F. Kennedy ( CV-67) or "Big John" of the Nimitz class, now retired).

USS Gerald R. Ford has a manufacturing cost of about $ 17 to $ 18 billion, of which $ 12.8 billion is for materials and labor costs, $ 4.7 billion for proper research and development. The contract was signed between the US Navy and the shipbuilding branch of Northrop Grumman military contractor. The branch was later acquired by Huntington Ingalls in 2011.

The image above shows the giant USS Gerald R. Ford when it was still on the Dry Dock 12 dry dock of Newport News Shipbuilding.

Shipbuilding activities take place around the clock. USS Gerald R. Ford brings many notable upgrades compared to the Nimitz class, especially the better living environment for sailors with quieter sleeping compartments, more entertainment areas, and fitness. and better air conditioning system.

Computer model of USS Gerald R. Ford. The completed ship has a length of 337m, a height of 76m, a cross-section of the ship is 78m long, a displacement of 100,000 tons.

USS Gerald R. Ford has an airport area of ​​333 x 78m, carrying more than 75 aircraft of all kinds and 4660 sailors.

Each component manufactured for the Gerald R. Ford-class ship is designed in full-size 3D.

Each of the Gerald R. Ford-class ship's components is designed for life-sized 3D using the Rapid Operational Virtual Reality (ROVR) system of Huntington Ingalls. USS Gerald R. Ford is the first aircraft carrier designed with this technology.

On February 25, 2011, Newport News Shipbuilding held the first steel-cutting ceremony for the USS John F. Kennedy.

It takes 2000 tons of metal to weld the ship's components together.

According to Newport New Shipbuilding estimates, it takes up to 2000 tons of metal to weld the ship's components together.

Workers are fastening screws on a screwdriver of USS Gerald R. Ford with a torque wrench. The ship is equipped with 4 propellers, using 2 A1B nuclear reactors. The propellers will enable the Gerald R. Ford-class ship to reach 35 mph (56 km / h), a respectable speed for a ship weighing up to 10205 tons.

Newport News Shipbuilding operates its own steel foundry and workers are casting anchor pipes for the USS John F. Kennedy.

Pictured is a pipeline installer Trevin Wilson working on the USS John F. Kennedy. The Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers are designed with significantly reduced lead solder pipes. Compared to Nimitz-class warships, USS John F. Kennedy has less than one-third of the number of pipeline valves.

An indispensable component on the aircraft carrier deck is the catapult system. Pictured is the test operation of the new US Navy electromagnetic launch system. On the deck of the USS Gerald R. Ford, they tested a sled that weighed the equivalent of a fighter into the James River.

A successful launch, the electromagnetic aircraft launch system can accelerate an object heavier than 45 tons to a speed of 201 km / h over a distance of less than 91m.

Big Blue cranes at Newport News Shipbuilding shipyard are putting air traffic control tower on USS Gerald R. Ford in January 2013.

And this is a 1026-tonne compartment - the heaviest component of the USS Gerald R. Ford's structures. The compartment is 38m long and 38m wide and is located below the deck and it contains a lot of things including fire extinguishing systems, jet fuel and aircraft launch systems.

In the past, warships were often built from bottom to top. Today, ships are built in modular form. In the picture, the engineers are lowering the final structure piece of the USS Gerald R. Ford.

And here is the bow of the USS Gerald R. Ford, which weighs about 680 tons, is lowered by a crane to attach it to the ship's bridge.

The crane at Newport New Shipbuilding is in the process of assembling the top of the 787-tonne bow. This is a very demanding stage.

Susan Ford, daughter of Gerald R. Ford and honorary sponsor, visited the ship named after her father in 2011. She also followed many manufacturing stages of USS Gerald R. Ford and in the picture above, she is Help an engineer tighten a component on the main deck of a ship.

The aerial view shows the full view of the USS Gerald R. Ford in the process of finishing. The vessel has been in the Dry Dock 12 dry dock for approximately 7 years and after 25 years of service, the ship will be returned to this dry dock.

Paint is an important step in the process of finishing every ship and Newport News Shipbuilding estimates it used nearly 760,000 liters of paint and 170 workers to paint the entire USS Gerald R. Ford. In addition, this ship is also covered with a healing paint, resistant to heat and ultraviolet rays.

The naming ceremony for the CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford took place on November 9, 2013. In the photo, Susan Ford smashes a bottle of excellent Portuguese wine into the bow of the ship.

USS Gerald R. Ford will join the US Navy's battleship fleet on March 16 this year. At the naming ceremony, Newport News Shipbuilding president - Matt Mulherin announced: "The ship will be the queen of the sea for 50 years and will be a symbol of the supreme territory of the United States anywhere. Where will it arrive? At the same time, the ship will symbolize Gerald R. Ford - a man who embodies integrity, honor and courage. "