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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive

PCU GERALD R. FORD   (CVN-78)
(CVN-21 Program, formerly CVNX)


(Profile courtesy of ©Windjammer-Arts Naval Art & Aviation Art)


Specifications

Advanced design work on the next-generation carrier is underway at Northrop Grumman Newport News. Key changes from previous carriers include: a sortie rate increased by 25% thanks to an enhanced flight deck layout, with improved weapons movement and "pit stops" to fuel and arm aircraft, a redesigned and relocated island, three (instead of four) faster and more powerful elevators, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS, instead of steam catapults) and an Advanced Aircraft Recovery System (AARS); a new nuclear power plant; a new combat system; allowance for future technologies and reduced manning.

General Characteristics
(As of December 2005)
Displacement: approximately 100,000 long tons (approximately 101,600 metric tons) full load
Dimensions: 1,092' x 134' (flight deck, 256')  /  332.8 x 40.8 (flight deck, 78) meters
Power plant: 2 nuclear reactors; 4 shafts
Speed: 30+ knots
Armament: Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile; Rolling Airframe Missile; CIWS
Aircraft: 75+
Crew: 4,660 (ship, air wing and staff)


Operational and Building Data

Advance construction of the CVN-21 project began on August 11, 2005 with the beveling of a 15-ton metal plate at Northrop Grumman Newport News' shipyards in Virginia. This metal plate will eventually be used in the construction of CVN-78. Advance construction will take an estimated two years before construction can begin on the actual ship herself. This gives technicians and engineers the time needed to test and design the ship, and all the new technologies that will be put into the vessel.

The keel of the first unit (CVN-78) was laid on 14 November 2009 and delivery to the Navy is scheduled for 2015, to replace USS Enterprise (CVN-65), inactivated in 2012 after 51 years of service. CVN-78 was officially named Gerald R. Ford, after the nation's 38th President, on 16 January 2007. On 10 September 2008 Northrop Grumman Corporation received a $5.1-billion, 7-year cost plus incentive fee contract award for detail design and construction of CVN-78.

Second unit (CVN-79) is scheduled to start construction in FY2012 and slated to be placed in commission in FY2019. CVN-79 would feature several improvements over CVN-78.

Third and final (?) unit (CVN-80), would be procured "a few years after" CVN-79 (estimated delivery in FY2023). Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced, 1 December 2012, that she will be named Enterprise.


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Namesake
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CVN-78 is named after Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr. (1913–2006), 38th President of the United States of America (1974–1977).

(Read about LCDR Gerald R. Ford, Jr, USNR, biography and WW2 service at the Naval Historical Center website.)

Gerald R. Ford, Jr. became the fourth consecutive President to have served in the US Navy. He was the first vice president in American history to succeed to the nation's highest office because of the resignation of a president, and he was the first person to occupy the White House without being elected either president or vice president. He viewed himself as "a moderate in domestic affairs, a conservative in fiscal affairs, and a dyed-in-the-wool internationalist in foreign affairs." Ford acted vigorously to maintain US power and prestige after the collapse of Cambodia and South Vietnam. Preventing a new war in the Middle East remained a major objective. Detente with the Soviet Union continued. On Inauguration Day his successor, President Carter, began his speech: "For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land."

DOD File photo # 061227-D-0000X-001.
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LCDR Gerald Ford, who later became the 38th President of the United States (1974–1977) in uniform, 1945. Ford received his commission as an Ensign in the U.S Naval Reserve on 13 April 1942 and later participated in many actions in the Pacific aboard the fast aircraft carrier USS Monterey (CVL-26). He was eventually released from active duty under honorable conditions in February 1946. President Ford, 93, passed away on 26 December 2006 at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. DOD photo (# 061227-N-0000X-003).

Robert M. Cieri
Design & Construction
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Artistís concept of CVN-21 one of a new class of aircraft carriers. A new nuclear propulsion plant will power the next class of aircraft carriers. The new plant will require fewer operators thereby lowering life-cycle costs, and will provide increased electrical power that will be available for the demands of developing technology. Smart sensors will assist in further reducing Navy watch standing requirements and in automating damage control functions such as detecting fire and flooding situations. Flight deck redesign and a transition to an advanced aircraft recovery system (AARS) will reduce crew workload, enhance safety and reduce the costs of operating and maintaining a carrier throughout her planed 50-year life cycle. U.S. Navy graphic (# 030606-N-0000X-001), June 6, 2003.

Note: At the 2003 Navy League show Newport News displayed a model of a new carrier with four catapults and three, rather than four, elevators — the island being moved aft. The large, redesigned deck makes it easier to handle aircraft. When combined with the newer, more powerful and faster elevators and catapults, it is claimed that the number of sorties per day can be significantly increased.

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The first piece of steel, a 15-ton plate for a side shell unit of CVN-78, the first ship of the CVN-21 program, is cut at the Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, August 11, 2005. The ceremony was held at the shipyards new heavy-plate bay facility, one of several new facilities built for the CVN-21 program. Innovations for the CVN-21 program include an enhanced flight deck capable of increased sortie rates, improved weapons movement, a redesigned island, a new nuclear power plant, reduced manning and allowance for future technologies.

Photo by John Whalen (# DCS05-417-146).

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation
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Newport News, Va., Aug. 11, 2005 — The participants of the cutting for the first piece of steel for CVN-78, the first ship of the CVN-21 program, pose during a ceremony at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The ceremony was held at the shipyard's new heavy-plate bay facility, one of several new facilities built for the CVN-21 program.

Left to right: RADM H. Denby Starling II, Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, USN; RADM David Architzel, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, USN; Joe S. Frank, Mayor of Newport News; Mike Petters, president, Northrop Grumman Newport News; Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.); Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.); and CAPT Michael E. McMahon, Commanding Officer, Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, Newport News, USN.

Photo by John Whalen, courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation (# 050811-O-0000W-002).

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Commander, Operational Test and Evaluation Force and Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, RADM David Architzel, signs the first steel plate cut for CVN-78, the first ship of the CVN-21 program, during the ceremony at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, August 11, 2008.

Photo by John Whalen (# DCS05-417-069).

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation
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An artist's conception (2004) of CVN-78, the first of a new generation carrier design, CVN-21, for the US Navy, underway at Northrop Grumman Newport News. Construction is slated to begin in 2007. US Navy Photo (# 060630-N-0000X-001) courtesy Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding

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Another artist's concept of CVN-78. US Navy graphic (# 050708-D-8455H-001), July 8, 2005.

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A conceptual rendering of CVN-78. US Navy Illustration (# 060630-N-0000X-003) courtesy Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding.

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A design rendering of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). This is the first in a class of new carriers to be built by Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding. U.S. Navy photo illustration courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, # 100512-ZZ999-201. Washington, 12 May 2010.

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Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Dr. Donald C. Winter, Vice President Dick Cheney, Susan Ford Bales, Jack Ford, Mike Ford, Steve Ford, Sen. John Warner, Sen. Carl Levin and Chief of Naval Operations ADM Mike Mullen salute as the model of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is unveiled. The ship as well as the newest class of aircraft carriers was named after the 38th President of the United States during a ceremony at the Pentagon.U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shawn P. Eklund (# 070116-N-3642E-171).

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Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter, Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. John Warner and Chief of Naval Operations ADM Mike Mullen (l-r) applaud Susan Ford Bates after her remarks at the unveiling and naming of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley (# 070116-N-0696M-095).

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Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV), the Honorable Dr. Donald C. Winter, speaks to an audience of 300 during the official naming ceremony of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shawn P. Eklund (# 070116-N-3642E-063).

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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, speaks during the official naming ceremony of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shawn P. Eklund (# 070116-N-3642E-217).

Robert M. Cieri
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Remarks by Dr. Donald C. Winter, Secretary of Navy — Naming of USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Pentagon, Arlington, VA, Tuesday, January 16, 2007.

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An inner bottom unit of PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is hoisted by crane at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., January 4, 2008.

Photo by Ricky Thompson.

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation
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The foundry's furnace reached temperatures up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and melted the steel for Gerald R. Ford's (CVN-78) struts in about six hours. A strut is a cast structure that is welded into the hull to support the ship's shafting and propellers.

Photo by Chris Oxley (# DCS09-668-177).

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation, via Bill Gonyo
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Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., used its foundry to melt 35 tons of steel to cast strut arms needed to support the propeller shafts of the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on 9 October 2009.

Photo by Chris Oxley (# DCS09-668-222).

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation, via Bill Gonyo
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Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) program engineers (left to right) Bruce Cashwell, Bob O'Brien, Paul Bredlau, Arnold Williams, Jessie Zarkowski, Connie Holub, Jimmy Boonruang, and Jackie Tisdale, sign a 15-foot banner to signify the completion of the ship's keel unit. Photo by John Whalen (#7581).

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation
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John Knight, crane rigger, signs a 15-foot banner that would be on display at the Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) keel laying ceremony on 14 November 2009. Photo by Ricky Thompson (#7582).

Courtesy of Nortrop Grumman Corporation
Keel Laying and Authentication Ceremony, Newport News, Va., 14 November 2009
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Commemorative banner signed by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Newport News, employees.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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Speaker's platform. Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus is at the podium.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Ray Mabus delivers remarks during the keel laying and authentication ceremony for the newest class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien (#091114-N-5549O-091).

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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford and ship's sponsor of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), writes her initials onto a metal plate during the keel laying and authentication ceremony. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien (# 091114-N-5549O-126).

Steve Graham
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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, served as the ship's sponsor and keel authenticator for the ceremony, Newport News, Va., 14 November 2009. Bales authenticated the keel by chalking her initials onto a metal plate. (Left to right) Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus; U.S. Senator Carl Levin, (D-Mich); Director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion, ADM Kirkland Donald; Ship Sponsor Susan Ford Bales; and Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Mike Petters.

Photo courtesy of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, via Bill Gonyo
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Preparing to weld the Authenticator's initials into the keel plate. In front from left: SECNAV Mabus; Sen. Carl Levin (D, Mich), principal speaker; Susan Ford Bales, Authenticator and ship's Sponsor; Mr. Robert Bowker, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding welder.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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Robert Bowker welds the initials of Susan Ford Bales into the keel of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during a keel laying and authentication ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kevin S. O'Brien (# 091114-N-5549O-135).

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Mr. Bowker welds Susan Ford Bales' initials into the keel plate to authenticate the keel laying.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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Robert Bowker, a structural welder with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, welds the initials of Susan Ford Bales into the keel of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during a keel laying and authentication ceremony. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cory Rose (#091114-N-0924R-003).

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The welded initials.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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U.S. Senator Carl Levin, left; ADM Kirkland H. Donald, director of Naval Nuclear Propulsion; Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford and ship's sponsor; and Robert Bowker, a structural welder with Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, display Bales's welded initials into a piece of steel during a keel laying and authentication ceremony. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Cory Rose (#091114-N-0924R-002).

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(Left to right) U.S. Senator Carl Levin, (D-Mich); Ship Sponsor Susan Ford Bales; Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Mike Petters; and Shipbuilder Robert Bowker. Bowker welded Bales initials onto a plate, which will be permanently affixed to the ship, during the Keel Laying Ceremony, Newport News, Va., 14 November 2009.

Photo courtesy of the Northrop Grumman Corporation, via Bill Gonyo
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The first keel assembly is moved toward the building dock.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of the ship's namesake, speaks to the crowd.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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The first keel assembly is placed in the building dock.

Photo by S. Dale Hargrave
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The aircraft carrier PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) under construction in dry dock, at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding-Newport News, 28 July 2010.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Submitted by Ed Semeia.
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Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., lifted two generators weighing over 195,000 pounds apiece into the aft section of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on 28 July 2010. The generators supply backup power throughout the ship in the event that power is lost.

Photo by Chris Oxley.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
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PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the lead ship in a new class of U.S. Navy carriers, took another step toward completion Saturday, 21 May 2011, as Huntington Ingalls Industries, Newport News, VA, erected a 945-ton superlift near the stern of the ship. The superlift erected on Gerald R. Ford contains a diesel generator room, a pump room, an oily water waste pump room, 16 complete tanks and 18 partial tanks that will be completed when the superlift is welded to the rest of the ship. The superlift is assembled from 18 smaller structural units supplied by the steel fabrication and assembly division. It is one of 162 total superlifts that comprise the ship.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Submitted by Ed Semeia.
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Newport News Shipbuilding completed an 825-ton superlift on the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on 12 September 2011. At 90 feet (27.4 m) long, 120 feet (36.6 m) wide and 30 feet (9.1 m) deep, the stern section superlift was among the largest of the 162 that comprise Gerald R. Ford.

Photo by John Whalen.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Submitted by Ed Semeia.
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The first piece of the flight deck for the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was erected 7 April 2012. The 717-metric ton unit includes combat systems and electronics spaces.

Photo by Chris Oxley.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Submitted by Ron Reeves.
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The first flight deck unit for the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is lifted into place at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 7 April 2012. PCU Gerald R. Ford is the first in class of a new carrier design being built at Newport News. U.S. Navy photo # 120407-N-ZZ999-101, by Chris Oxley.

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The final keel section of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is lowered into place at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 24 May 2012. The 680-metric-ton, 60-foot-tall lower bow unit was joined to the other keel sections and was the last major section of the ship installed below the waterline. Gerald R. Ford was at the time more than 75 percent structurally complete in the dry dock, and on schedule to launch in 2013. The ship is scheduled to be delivered to the fleet in 2015. U.S. Navy photos courtesy of Ricky Thompson, Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipbuilding Division.

NS027817: photo # 120524-N-ZZ999-003.

NS027817a: photo # 120524-N-ZZ999-004.

Ron Reeves.
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Island Landing Ceremony, Newport News, Va., 26 January 2013
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CAPT John Meier, prospective commanding officer of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), speaks at the beginning of the island landing ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 26 January 2013. The island-landing ceremony marks the final super-lift in the construction process for the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in 2015. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathanael Miller (# 130126-N-YX169-053).

Ron Reeves.
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RADM Ted N. Branch, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, speaks at the beginning of the future nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN-78) island landing ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 26 January 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathanael Miller (# 130126-N-YX169-058).

Ron Reeves.
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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of late President Gerald R. Ford and ship's sponsor, speaks at the beginning of the future nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN-78) island landing ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 26 January 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathanael Miller (# 130126-N-YX169-095).

Ron Reeves.
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Huntington Ingalls Industries celebrated significant progress as the 555-metric ton island was lowered onto the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at the company's Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) division, 26 January 2013. The 60-foot long, 30-foot wide island was the 452nd lift of the nearly 500 total lifts needed to complete the aircraft carrier.

Photo courtesy of Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Submitted by Ed Semeia.
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The 555-metric ton island for the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is lifted into position on the ship's flight deck during an island landing ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 26 January 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sabrina Fine (# 130126-N-NB538-151).

Ron Reeves.
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As above. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathanael Miller (# 130126-N-YX169-134).

Ron Reeves.
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As above. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sabrina Fine (# 130126-N-NB538-235).

Ron Reeves.
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RADM Ted N. Branch, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, places several coins under the future USS Gerald R. Ford's (CVN-78) island during the "island landing ceremony" at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 26 January 2013. Several mementoes are placed under the island in keeping with ancient shipbuilding traditions. Watching Branch are CAPT John Meier, prospective commanding officer; Newport News Shipbuilding president Matt Mulherin; and Susan Ford Bales, daughter of late President Gerald R. Ford and the ship's sponsor. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathanael Miller (# 130126-N-YX169-244).

Ron Reeves.
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The 555-metric ton island for the future nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) sits in place after being lifted into position on the ship's flight deck during an island landing ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, 26 January 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathanael Miller (# 130126-N-YX169-360).

Ed Semeia.
Flooding the Dry Dock, Newport News, Va., 11 October 2013
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Susan Ford Bales, ship's sponsor for Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), tours the dry dock prior to flooding the basin and floating the future aircraft carrier for the first time. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J. Wahl (# 131011-N-KK576-003).

Bob Haner
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Newport News Shipbuilding floods Dry Dock 12 to float PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J. Wahl (# 131011-N-KK576-013).

Bob Haner
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Newport News Shipbuilding floods Dry Dock 12 to float PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Newport News, Va., 11 October 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J. Wahl (# 131011-N-KK576-015).

Bob Haner
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Newport News Shipbuilding floods Dry Dock 12 to float PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), Newport News, Va., 11 October 2013. U.S. Navy photo by John Whalen (# 131011-N-ZZ999-001).

Bob Haner
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Susan Ford Bales, ship's sponsor for PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), begins the initial flooding procedure to float the aircraft carrier in Newport News Shipbuilding Dry Dock 12. U.S. Navy photo by Chirs Oxley (# 131011-N-ZZ999-002).

Bob Haner
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Susan Ford Bales, ship's sponsor for PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), observes the flooding of dry dock 12 at Newport News Shipbuilding, 11 October 2013, during floating operations for the future aircraft carrier. U.S. Navy photo by Chis Oxley (# 131011-N-ZZ999-003).

Bob Haner
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Ex-USS Enterprise (CVN-65) passes the torch to Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) to continue the protection of freedom.

Photo by John Whalen, 5 July 2014, Newport News Shipbuilding (# DCS14-450-20).

Ron Reeves
Christening, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013
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CVN-78 sits in dry dock 12 at Newport News Shipbuilding, 8 November 2013, waiting for Ship's Sponsor Susan Ford Bales to break a bottle of sparkling wine across the bow, christening the ship Gerald R. Ford in a centuries-old naval tradition said to bring life and luck to the ship. This is the first of a new class of aircraft carriers replacing the 10-ship Nimitz class launched in 1972. The Gerald R. Ford class brings improved warfighting capability, quality of life improvements and reduced acquisition and life cycle-costs. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Davis Anderson (# 131108-N-HZ247-002).

Robert M. Cieri
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ADM John Richardson, Director of Nuclear Reactors, delivers brief remarks at the christening ceremony of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. The first in her class, the aircraft carrier is scheduled to join the Fleet in 2016. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-441).

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Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld delivers brief remarks at the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-466).

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney delivers brief remarks at the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-526).

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Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) ADM Jonathan Greenert makes brief remarks at the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-690).

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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford and sponsor of the aircraft carrier that bears his name, thanks the current and future crews at the christening ceremony of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-869).

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Susan Ford Bales, daughter of former President Gerald R. Ford and sponsor of the aircraft carrier that bears his name, receives the bottle used during the christening ceremony of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-998).

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Ship's Sponsor Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, christens the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) during a ceremony at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. CVN-78 is the first of a new class of aircraft carriers replacing the 10-ship Nimitz class launched in 1972. The Gerald R. Ford class brings improved warfighting capabilities, quality of life improvements and reduced acquisition and life cycle costs. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J. Wahl (# 131109-N-KK576-270).

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NS027821f
122k

Members of the official party applaud at the conclusion of the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-958).

USN
CVN-78
NS027821g
76k

Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) ADM Jonathan Greenert congratulates Susan Ford Bales, sponsor of the aircraft carrier that bears her father's name, at the conclusion of the christening ceremony of the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-982).

USN
CVN-78
NS027821i
158k

Service members, crew, their families and distinguished guests bow their heads as Navy CAPT Jerome Hinson gives a benediction during the ship's christening ceremony. The Ford class brings improved war fighting capacity, quality of life improvements and reduced acquisition and life cycle costs. Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Patrick Grieco (# 131109-N-VT117-043).

Robert M. Cieri
CVN-78
NS027821j
124k

Tens of thousands of Navy supporters attend the christening ceremony of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) at Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va., 9 November 2013. The first in the Ford-class carriers, CVN-78 is scheduled to join the fleet in 2016. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Peter D. Lawlor (# 131109-N-WL435-370).

Robert M. Cieri
CVN-78
NS027823
158k

Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) gets underway, 17 November 2013, beginning the ship's launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier 3 for the final stages of construction and testing. The aircraft carrier was christened 9 November 2013 and was under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aidan P. Campbell (# 131117-N-DO831-018).

Robert M. Cieri
CVN-78
NS027823a
113k

Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) breaks the threshold of Newport News Shipyard Dry Dock 12 into the James River during the ship's launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier three for the final stages of construction and testing, 17 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Aidan P. Campbell (# 131117-N-DO831-032).

Robert M. Cieri
CVN-78
NS027823b
80k

PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) transits the James River during the ship's launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier three for the final stages of construction and testing, 17 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Aidan P. Campbell (# 131117-N-DO831-080).

Robert M. Cieri
CVN-78
NS027823c
75k

PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is moved to Pier 3 at Newport News Shipbuilding, 17 November 2013. The ship would undergo additional outfitting and testing for the next 28 months. U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries by Chris Oxley (# 131117-N-ZZ999-101).

Bill Gonyo
Robert M. Cieri
Memorabilia
CVN-78
NS027819
97k

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), "Integrity at the Helm" coin.

Howard Weitzell
CVN-78
NS027822b
123k

Builder's original logo.

Ron Reeves
Howard Weitzell
CVN-78
NS027822
265k

Ship's crest and motto, "Integrity at the Helm."

Ron Reeves & Wolfgang Hechler
CVN-78
NS027822a
152k

Ship's patch.

Howard Weitzell

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

Related Links
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages by Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford [ CVN 21 / CVN-X / CVX ] at GlobalSecurity.org
  Search YouTube for videos related to "USS Gerald R. Ford"  

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Last update: 15 November 2014