The U.S. Navy has accepted the delivery of the $12.9 billion USS Gerald R. Ford supercarrier after 12 years of construction and testing, the service announced Thursday.
“Congratulations to everyone who has helped bring [the Ford] to this historic milestone,” Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, said in a statement. “Over the last several years, thousands of people have had a hand in delivering Ford to the Navy — designing, building and testing the Navy’s newest, most capable, most advanced warship.”
The Ford is the lead ship in a new class of carriers of the same name. The Ford class is the first new type of carriers since the Nimitz class was commissioned in 1975, and its maiden ship is the Navy’s first new carrier since the USS George H. W. Bush was delivered in 2009.
The Ford has a larger flight deck than previous carriers, giving it the ability to hold more aircraft, weapons and aviation fuel. It also has new launch and recovery technology, called the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear, respectively.