Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, April 02, 2007

USS Ford!

This is coolbert:

Here is the latest dope on what will be, by 2011, the latest and most advanced aircraft carrier to be commissioned by the U.S. Navy [USN].

The U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford. A new, improved version of aircraft carriers that already exist in the arsenal of the USN.

[Thanks to "Machine Design" magazine.]

$8 billion dollar per pop if you want one.

State-of-the-art, as you might suppose, with advancements over previous classes and designs of aircraft carriers.

Advancements to include:

* Two nuclear reactors, providing 25 % more power over previous versions, with only half the number of crew required to operate and maintain.

* Three times the electrical generating capacity of previous Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. Reputed to be available if and when particle beam weapons become operational.

* Electro-magnetic aircraft launchers. NO MORE steam catapults.

* An electro-magnetic aircraft recovery system [EARS]. An arresting system able to provide variable resistance profiles for aircraft in contrast to the current system. Catch and hold the aircraft as they land with greater finesse.

* Improved ship phased array radars to replace the rotating antenna structures of current radars.

* Better “weapon-handling conveyors and elevators” from bringing aircraft and munitions from inside the ship onto the flight deck.

* A reduction in “ship’s crew size from 3,000 to 2,500, possibly as low as 2,100.” “(The 2,500 officers and enlisted of the airwing will still be needed.)”

About 5,000 folks aboard just to keep the ship afloat, sailing, and performing it’s mission. Ship will remain on duty for decades. Costly but necessary.

[Gerald Ford DID see combat duty aboard the U.S.S. Monterrey during World War Two [WW2]. Ford served as the physical training officer aboard ship. There is a famous picture taken of Ford and others engaged in a basketball game during a lull in the action. Little at the time did ANYONE guess what Ford would become one day!]




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