Construction of new Aircraft Carrier class has begun


U.S. Navy

Alec Hoskins, Student Writer

In recent years, the need for new and more powerful aircraft carriers. That is why the department of defense approved the construction of 10 new aircraft carriers by 2058. The class will be named after the 38th president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford. As of right now, one carrier has been deployed, which was still in a sort of trial mode, but as of last year is now fully operational. This makes it the largest and most advanced carrier in our Navy today. 

Previously the largest carrier class in our Navy was the Nimitz class carrier which had a beam of 134 feet, a length of 1,092 feet, and a displacement of 101,625 tons. The Gerald R. Ford class ships will have a beam of 256 feet, a length of 1,106 feet and a displacement of 100,000 tons. The main difference between the two is the beam size. The beam of the ship is basically how wide the ship is and the Gerald R. Ford class has a beam almost twice the size of the previous Nimitz class. This means that the Gerald R. Ford class has a lot more room for whatever it is carrying, whether that’s fighter planes or attack helicopters, it can hold more of them than any other carrier in our Navy. 

These carriers won’t just be larger, they are much more advanced too. They will still have a massive nuclear reactor to power it as the Nimitz class carriers do, but these carriers will be a lot more automated across the board which reduces the amount of crew needed at any given time. The ship will also carry a number of somewhat new Evolved RIM-162 ESSM Surface-to-air missiles which are used in our Navy and in 12 other NATO countries. It will be equipped with an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System or EMALS which are a new and better form of catapult to launch the aircraft off the ship. Previously aircraft carriers used steam to launch their aircraft but now it uses the electromagnetic system which uses a linear induction motor instead of regular steam to push the aircraft forward. 

It’s most notable new trait though is that it can hold up to 90 aircraft at a time which is 30 more than the Nimitz class carriers can. That is an impressive difference. With all of these added features, the Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier is definitely a worthy successor to the Nimitz class carriers that came before it. The Gerald R. Ford class ships will replace the ten older ships, but not the Nimitz class ships as they are still quite formidable and powerful.