USS Ger­ald R Ford

India Strategic - - CONTENTS - “For in Amer­ica, the best has never been – it is al­ways yet to be” – Pres­i­dent Ger­ald R. Ford By Jimmy Bha­tia

OA DAY full of horn-blow­ing fan­fare, gun- fir­ing and flag- hoist­ing fes­tiv­i­ties at Nor­folk, Va., the US navy July 22 com­mis­sioned the first of a new gen­er­a­tion of sub­stan­tially more pow­er­ful and tech­no­log­i­cally highly ad­vanced air­craft car­ri­ers that will trans­form the way mar­itime air power is ap­plied in fu­ture.

US Pres­i­dent Mr Trump, presided over the com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony for the nu­clear pow­ered Ger­ald R. Ford which, though de­layed by over two years in the mak­ing with es­ca­lat­ing costs that touched al­most $13 bil­lion, nonethe­less achieved a mile­stone for the US Navy in its quest to main­tain a siz­able mod­erni­sa­tion gap in its favour, to take on the ever-chang­ing se­cu­rity chal­lenges in an in­creas­ingly trou­bled world.

Ad­dress­ing a star-stud­ded gath­er­ing that in­cluded gov­er­nors, law­mak­ers, De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis and US Naval brass, Pres­i­dent Trump ex­tolled, “Amer­i­can steel and Amer­i­can hands have con­structed a 100,000- tonne mes­sage to the world: Amer­i­can might is se­cond to none... And we’re get­ting big­ger, bet­ter and stronger.”

“As we put this stun­ning ship into the ser­vice of our na­tion, we must also pay trib­ute to the thou­sands of cit­i­zens, mil­i­tary and civil­ian, who helped de­sign and build her. Their love of coun­try has been poured into every rivet and bulk­head on this ves­sel. You ham­mered, chis­eled, and sculpted this mighty hull. You were there when the first steel was cut, when the tur­bines first roared to life, and when those beau­ti­ful bronze pro­pel­lers first be­gan to spin -- and spin they did. And now you are here to wit­ness the mo­ment when your in­cred­i­ble work of art be­comes the pride of the United States Navy and a sym­bol of Amer­i­can power and pres­tige, no mat­ter where in the world you go.”

USS Ger­ald R. Ford ( CVN 78) will rep­re­sent a new class of air­craft car­ri­ers af­ter a gap of 42 years since the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) that was com­mis­sioned in 1975. Pi­o­neer­ing new tech­nolo­gies such as elec­tro­mag­netic cat­a­pults and ar­rest­ing gear, a new is­land struc­ture and ex­panded flight deck, it will al­low her to launch air­craft faster than ever be­fore. She would pro­duce two and a half times more elec­tri­cal power with two next-gen nu­clear re­ac­tors and while there would

be a sub­stan­tial in­crease in op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties, the ship would need 500 fewer crew mem­bers which ac­cord­ing to Navy es­ti­mates would re­sult in a $4 bil­lion sav­ing over a 50-years life-span.

TECH­NO­LOG­I­CAL FEATS

While the Ger­ald Ford su­per car­rier boasts of a num­ber of tech­no­log­i­cal im­prove­ments over the pre­vi­ous Nimitz class car­ri­ers such as Rayetheon’s vastly im­proved AN/SPY-3 ac­tive elec­tron­i­cally scanned ar­ray multi-func­tion radar, the big­gest tech­no­log­i­cal break-through has been achieved in the way the air­craft will be launched and re­cov­ered on board the car­rier. Af­ter years of de­vel­op­ment and test­ing, Gen­eral Atomics have per­fected the EMALS/AAG (Elec­tro­mag­netic Air­craft Launch Sys­tem/Ad­vanced Ar­rester Gear) sys­tems that have re­placed for the first time, the tra­di­tional steam cat­a­pults and ar­rester sys­tems. This in­no­va­tion elim­i­nates the tra­di­tional re­quire­ment to gen­er­ate and store steam, free­ing up con­sid­er­able area be­low-deck. With this EMALS in­no­va­tion, Ger­ald R. Ford can ac­com­plish 25 per cent more air­craft launches, which would trans­late to more than 250 sor­ties per day from the twin launch­ers. EMALS will be able to launch all types of air­craft from the car­rier’s deck in­clud­ing un­manned air­craft of var­i­ous sizes.

In­ci­den­tally, all fu­ture air­craft car­ri­ers of the US Navy start­ing with the fol­low on su­per car­ri­ers USS John F. Kennedy and USS En­ter­prise of the Ford class will be equipped with the GA EMALS/AAG sys­tems. And, no­tably, the In­dian Navy is also con­sid­er­ing EMALS/AAG sys­tems for its fu­tur­is­tic air­craft car­rier IAC- 2 (INS Vishal

Ger­ald R. Ford will be able to carry up to 90 air­craft, in­clud­ing the Boe­ing

F/A-18E/F Su­per Hor­net, Boe­ing EA-18G Growler, Grum­man C- 2 Grey­hound, Northrop Grum­man E- 2 Hawk­eye, Lock­heed Martin F- 35C Light­ning II, Siko­rsky SH-60 Sea­hawk he­li­copters, and un­manned com­bat aerial ve­hi­cles such as the Northrop Grum­man X-47B.

En­dowed with stealth fea­tures, the car­rier will be armed with the Raytheon Evolved Sea Spar­row mis­sile ( ESSM), which de­fends against high-speed, highly ma­noeu­vrable anti- ship mis­siles. The close-in weapon sys­tem, and the rolling air­frame mis­sile ( RAM) from Raytheon and Ram­sys GmbH are also on board.

Just be­fore plac­ing Ger­ald R. Ford in com­mis­sion at the in­vi­ta­tion of her com­mand­ing of­fi­cer Cap­tain McCor­mack, Mr Trump de­clared amidst ap­plause, “When­ever this ves­sel cuts through the hori­zon, our al­lies will rest easy and our en­e­mies will shake with fear be­cause ev­ery­one will know that Amer­ica is com­ing and Amer­ica is com­ing strong.”

T he com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony con­cluded with Mrs Su­san Ford Bales, Pres­i­dent Ford’s daugh­ter and the ship’s of­fi­cial spon­sor giv­ing com­mand to “bring her to life”. To the strains of ‘An­chors Aweigh’, the flag was hoisted and the mas­sive car­rier sprang to life with sailors re­port­ing on sta­tions and the radars be­gin­ning to churn.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump stands for the colours as he ar­rives dur­ing the com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony of the air­craft car­rier USS Ger­ald R. Ford (CVN 78) at Naval Sta­tion Nor­folk

“A 100,000-tonne mes­sage to the world”, as USS Ger­ald Ford cuts through the wa­ters dur­ing builders’ tri­als

Named af­ter the 38th pres­i­dent of the United States, USS Ger­ald R. Ford pays trib­ute to his life­time of ser­vice in the Navy, in the US gov­ern­ment and to the na­tion – a man who em­bod­ied in­tegrity, hon­our and courage. Dur­ing World War II, Pres­i­dent Ford served on the light car­rier USS Mon­terey (CVL 26) in the rank of a lieu­tenant com­man­der. Re­leased from ac­tive duty in 1946, Ford re­mained in the Naval Re­serve un­til 1963. En­ter­ing the po­lit­i­cal arena, soon af­ter his re­lease from the ser­vice, Ford was elected to the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 1948, where he served un­til Pres­i­dent Nixon picked him up to be the Vice Pres­i­dent in 1973. Ford be­came pres­i­dent in the af­ter­math of the Water­gate scan­dal and served in the coun­try’s 1977.

Mrs Su­san Ford Bales, Pres­i­dent Ford’s daugh­ter and the ship’s of­fi­cial spon­sor giv­ing com­mand to “bring her to life”

USS Ger­ald Ford (CVN 78) un­der­way af­ter com­mis­sion­ing

The ship’s crest in­cor­po­rates many sym­bols rem­i­nis­cent of Pres­i­dent Ford’s life and point­ing true north, which comes from his rank of Ea­gle Scout in the Boy Scouts; and 38 stars sur­round­ing the em­blem to rep­re­sent his ten­ure as the 38th Pres­i­dent of the United States, 26 stars are a dif­fer­ent colour to de­note his time sta­tioned aboard USS Mon­ter­ery dur­ing World War II. The crest’s colours in­clude blue and maize for his un­der­grad­u­ate alma mater, Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.