Navy’s New Carrier Gerald R. Ford Set for July 22 Commissioning
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va. — The commissioning ceremonies for the Navy’s next-generation aircraft carrier are scheduled for July 22, a spokesman for commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic, said in a June 20 e-mail.
Gerald R. Ford (CVN 79), lead ship of a class of aircraft carriers that will succeed the Nimitz class, will be commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., across Hampton Roads from the shipyard where it was built by Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding.
Gerald R. Ford completed its builder’s trials on April 14 and its acceptance trials on May 26.
Gerald R. Ford features new technology, including new nuclear reactors, a new electrical system, the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, the Advanced Arresting Gear and the Dual-Band Radar. The ship is designed to operate with 800 fewer crew members and 400 fewer air wing personnel than a Nimitz-class carrier. The ship is designed to generate a sortie rate 25 percent greater than a Nimitz-class ship.