USS Gerald Ford  3                04-2015

That increased rate comes in part from replacing the steam generated catapult systems like those on the USS Abraham Lincoln shown here, with an electromagnetic system thatís more efficient and gentler on the multi-million dollar jets.

Even with the extra fuel and weapons needed to keep that pace, the Ford is equipped to remain at sea without replenishment for months at a time.



Before the Ford-class carriers, Newport News Shipbuilding needed to construct mock-ups of many ship sections to see how it would integrate in construction.



Now they use 3D design technology.



With a pair of these 3D glasses designers are able to see exactly how everything fits together in a virtual environment.



The 3D system also allows engineers to assemble the ship in modules. These modules can be exchanged and modified over the carrierís lifetime.



Inside a module like S/L3609, the electronic workstation could be removed and relocated along with the interior walls and floors. These were all permanent fixtures on previous carriers.

For the first time the Navy will have no urinals on this carrier. Gender neutral toilets mean berthing can be swapped between male and female without concern and one unit means fewer spare parts and repair.

The Navy is requesting larger pipes for the Ford to prevent blockage and unpleasant smells, which are common issues on carriers.



A carrierís effectiveness isnít judged by its plumbing, but by its ability to deliver lethal military force from these 4.5 acres of sovereign U.S. territory.



That lethality comes in many forms, like the weapons aboard the new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.



The Sea Sparrow Missile also factors into lethality with its ability to fly four times the speed of sound, turn on a dime, and intercept anti-ship missiles more than 30 miles out.


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