NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The future USS Gerald R. Ford is set to be commissioned next month.
The U.S. Navy says the Ford is the first new-design carrier since the USS Nimitz in 1975 — and the first to join the fleet since the USS George H. W. Bush in 2009. The Navy’s newest carrier will be commissioned on Saturday, July 22.
The $12.9 billion ship features state-of-the-art technologies like electromagnetic catapults and arresting gear, a new island structure, an expanded flight deck that will allow aircraft to be launched faster than ever before, 250 percent more electrical power, two next generation nuclear reactors and 500 fewer crew members.
Sailors aboard the Ford completed the first sea trials in April, testing the ship’s state-of-the-art systems.
Construction of the Ford began in 2008 and was initially slated for completion in September of 2015, but ran into delays. The ship ended up costing a little over $2 billion more than it was supposed to cost.
The Navy says the carrier will be operational by 2020.
For more information on commissioning events, go online.