U.S. aircraft carrier classes
November 8th, 2013
05:58 PM ET

Navy christens newest, most efficient carrier - the USS Gerald Ford

By Larry Shaughnessy

The U.S. Navy entered the 22nd century on Saturday.

In Newport News, Virginia, the Navy christened its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford.

This nuclear-powered ship is the first of a new class of at least 10 carriers that the Navy expects will be steaming the seas, protecting the United States well into the next century.

The Ford itself is projected to stay in service until 2057.

This carrier is state-of-the-art in naval architecture, according to news releases from the Navy and the shipbuilder.

For example, the Ford will use electromagnetic force, similar to how modern roller coasters are propelled, to catapult planes off the deck instead of the pressurized steam used in today's fleet.

The arresting gear that grabs planes when they land will be software-controlled, with the goal being less wear and tear on the planes.

'Son of a Blackbird': Plan for new spy plane

The ship looks much like the current Nimitz-class carriers. It's roughly the same length, width and weight.

But the island - the superstructure that rises above the flight deck - is skinnier, taller and set farther aft on the ship, allowing for more flight-deck operations and plane maintenance. It's also part of the reason the Ford will be able to carry more warplanes and launch 25% more air missions per day than the current carriers in the fleet, according to the Navy.

Below the waterline its four 30-ton propellers will be driven by two newly-designed nuclear reactors.

The planes that will eventually be jumping off its deck in the decades ahead haven't even been designed yet. It remains to be seen if those planes have pilots or will be controlled by operators with computers who will "fly" the aircraft from the safety of a remote location.

This new class of carriers is designed with built-in flexibility to accommodate future Navy decisions about aircraft and missions.

And it's designed to do all this on the cheap. Most of the lights in the ship will use high-efficiency bulbs that will last twice as long between changes. And the ship is designed to require 30% less maintenance over its lifespan.

Bigger, lighter, deadlier! Navy launches new stealth destroyer

Finally and most importantly, because of designed efficiencies, it'll put to sea with 1,000 fewer sailors and Marines than a Nimitz-class carrier. Over the life of the Ford, the efficiency of the ship, the Navy said, will save $4 billion.

The ship is named after President Gerald R. Ford who served on the carrier USS Monterey during World War II and who later became President when Richard Nixon resigned in the wake of the Watergate scandal.

"It's very fitting that our next carrier, a ship that will calm the unknown crises of the future by its very presence offshore, will be named for President Gerald Ford," Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said at the ship's keel-laying.

The push to name the ship after Ford began years ago and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld actually told Ford about the ship's name months before Ford's death in 2006, making the new carrier one of the few Navy ships named after a living person.

"How fitting it will be that the name Gerald R. Ford will patrol the high seas for decades to come, in the defense of the nation he loved so much," Rumsfeld said at Ford's funeral.

Ford's daughter, Susan Ford Bales, had the honor of breaking the traditional bottle of champagne on the ship's bow as it is launched.

Capt. John F. Meier has already been named as the ship's first commanding officer. He will be responsible for monitoring the final months of construction and likely be onboard when the Ford goes on its first sea trials.

"I'm thrilled to be here," Meier said in a Navy release last summer. "I couldn't ask for a better assignment or a greater honor."

But as the Navy launches its newest carrier, not all is well in the land of flattops.

Just last month, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations, conceded that because of budget issues the Navy may have to reconsider how many aircraft carriers it will keep in the fleet

"You have to go where the money is, and carriers and air wings are quite expensive," Greenert said, according to a Virginia newspaper, the Daily Press. "I'd hate to say it is inevitable, but we have to look very hard at it."

soundoff (833 Responses)
  1. Bryan Canant

    I desire to learn even more things about

    http://dumm.co.uk

    November 29, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  2. Marty

    According to usmilitarypaychart.com http://usmilitarypaychart.com/2014-military-pay-chart/ Obama is only authorizing a tiny, less than ECI raise for the troops but is still willing to spend hundreds of billions on bloated projects such as this carrier.

    November 18, 2013 at 4:25 am | Reply
    • geggyg

      Actually construction on this ship started in 2005 , final spending bill approved by GW Bush in 2006 , along with the name , final construction contract was signed in 2007 , as well as preliminary contracts for the other replacement aircraft carriers . When Obama was inaugurated the ship would have been half done ( a lot of work such as missile , electronic systems would have been done off site For construction to have been stopped by Obama Congress would have had to pass a law to rescind the contracts and then the govt probably would have had to pay compensation to the company . Im not a supporter of a big military , and am not American , but I do look up facts before I post

      November 18, 2013 at 6:55 am | Reply
      • Billyhey

        @geggyg. Don't let facts get in the way of a good rant. The Obama haters get so riled up watching Fox, that you posting facts is just going to confuse them. There are plenty of things to dislike the current administration for, but not going out of their way to pass an unpassable bill to stop construction on a carrier that was started years before they took office, isn't one of them.

        November 18, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • geggyg

        I keep hoping I will get one of them to actually and do some research , they don't have to agree with me , but if they comment please use facts . I know its a losing battle , I must be a masochist, or maybe its my Australian stubborness

        November 18, 2013 at 11:25 am |
      • USNavyVet

        Look up how many jobs are created by the military and defense contractors such as Raytheon and Bath Iron Works. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money, i.e. taxes.

        November 24, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • geggyg

        MY comment wasn't about the rights or wrongs of the spending on the ship, I was explaining to people who were blaming Pres Obama and saying he was wasting money for it when it was started under Pres GW Bush.
        I actually support govt spending . As you say extra taxes , and lower welfare payments if unemployment falls .
        However many economists argue that spending some( not all) of the defence money on infrastructure or teachers , nurses etc would actually benefit the economy more . Unless military spending is more actual troops on the ground then military spending is generally less labour intensive then govt civil projects , and also a good percentage of the cost of building a new ship or plane goes into high tech materials such as metals , electronics , weapons systems etc , which again aren't generally labour intensive . They provide good photo ops of a couple hundred people working in a shipyard , compared to the employment created by govt civil spending , which is spread throughout the country in much smller groups .

        November 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  3. Jrad

    While I'm not a fan of our extremely bloated military programs that almost always go far over-budget, this is pretty neat.

    Necessary? I dunno, but definitely cool.

    November 12, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  4. The Literarian

    This is great news for the Chinese. It should only be a matter of time before the Chinese government steals these secrets, as well as the other military technology they have stolen in the past.

    November 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • davedavedavedavedavedave

      It didn't help the Soviets.

      It won't help the Chins.

      December 1, 2013 at 2:29 am | Reply
  5. Jer

    The first of 10? At how much per ship? Nah, were not spending to much on defense...no way.

    November 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  6. Mike

    They should have named it Enterprise instead for some politico. That would have been a more fitting name and at least it would have carried on the tradition of having a naval ship named Enterprise, since the Navy just decommissioned CVN-65. And I for one am getting tired of seeing carriers named after presidents. The last three carriers have been named for Ford, Reagan, and George HW Bush and not one of them deserved it. It’s time the politicians stopped naming ships.

    November 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • kfordham

      There is another new one slated to be named Enterprise. It's not started yet.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • Snyphilis

      I think a President who served in the navy deserves a ship named after him. That would be Bush and Ford. I don't see you complaining about Kennedy or Eisenhower.

      This ship was originally to be named the Lexington. Which was our earliest built carrier to see combat.

      November 12, 2013 at 5:20 pm | Reply
      • dfg

        Kennedy served in the Navy during WW2.

        November 12, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • dfg

        And not to mention that, though Eisenhower was not in the Navy, he served in both WW1 and WW2.

        November 12, 2013 at 6:34 pm |
      • James

        Would have preferred calling it the Lex as well.

        February 13, 2014 at 5:30 am |
  7. Ax

    Can't wait to see her sail for the first time. Do us all proud!

    November 12, 2013 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • George patton

      Good grief Ax, if being stupid was a virtue, you'd be a living saint!!!

      November 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  8. wlux9

    Paid for by China.

    November 12, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • RealRed

      And will nuke china if they ever demand their debt repayment.

      November 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm | Reply
      • For-Whom-The-Bell-Tolls

        You apparently haven't heard of Chimerica? To "nuke China" would be to nuke ourselves since we are now for all practical purposes one country. Their state-owned corporations own farmland, forestland, mineral and coal mines all across North America. Too late for you and your nukes – you HAD the chance for Fortress North America, and you blew it. The only purpose for this ship is to control rogue nations who don't wanna play nice in the global economy, mainly, Islamic nations.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
      • Woodsy

        That statement is about the stupidest statement I ever heard. You must really be a moron.

        November 13, 2013 at 5:47 pm |
    • Michael

      May have been paid from China, but in the end it will be used to fight against China. So good for the US to make the enemy pay for the weapons that will destroy them. If only it was always like that. Down with China!

      November 12, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Reply
      • George patton

        Thank you, Michael. Spoken like a true, lame brained, war crazy Tea Partier!

        November 12, 2013 at 3:55 pm |
  9. steve

    And it's designed to do all this on the cheap. Most of the lights in the ship will use high-efficiency bulbs that will last twice as long between changes. And the ship is designed to require 30% less maintenance over its lifespan.

    Enter Michele Bachman to protest. She wants less efficient light bulbs and high maintenance.

    November 12, 2013 at 11:10 am | Reply
  10. goober

    Naming the warship to a Presidential Dud like Ford should be an ominous sign President by default- ravenous backer of the Warren Commission Fantasy and loser to Jimmy Carter- an even worse president than Ford

    November 12, 2013 at 9:59 am | Reply
    • Knotty Boy

      Goober, I want to see a destroyer named Tricky Dick.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Mike

        Destroyers are named after Naval and Marine Corp heros not after crooked presidents.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Gerald Ford was the right man at the right time. He healed the nation from the Vietnam fiasco (Thanks Prez Kennedy and Johnson) and the Watergate fiasco (Prez Nixon, that law-thing applies to you too).

      To call him a "dud", to sum up a good man's life as a "dud", shows either partisan-clouded intellectual shortcoming or poor upbringing.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • For-Whom-The-Bell-Tolls

        Kennedy wanted out of Viet Nam – that's why they blew his head off. Oh, that's right, that one guy got a job in the perfect place just 2 weeks before he needed to be there, yep, and that was one week before the location was announced, so, sure, there was no they, only him.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
    • RLF

      Clearly, you know nothing about the man, his presidency, or of the times when he was in office.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  11. mbane

    Contribute to the well being of everyone? Heck no! Contribute to build, this thing? Sure – take my money. I don't understand people in this country.

    November 12, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • George patton

      It's not all that complicated, mbane. Most people are ignorant enough to believe almost everything that the right-wing politicians tell them. They also have the false perception that there is "glory" in these monster machines which are being built to kill people!

      November 12, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
      • Thomas

        I hope it doesn't hurt your unicorn. BTW you don't have to be on the right, or left, to understand how dangerous the world has always been and the value of duty, character, and strength in such a world.

        November 12, 2013 at 10:08 am |
      • Ed

        "The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance" – Thomas Jefferson

        If you can't understand that simple concept you don't deserve the freedom that countless Heroes fought and died for.

        November 12, 2013 at 10:39 am |
      • mbane

        Ed, stopping using the words "freedom" to justify spending more in our military than the next 25 counties combined. 186 countries in the world have freedom! That's 97% of the entire world. You don't see Sweden or Norway or The Netherlands or Austria building these monstrosities. How are they able to have more freedom than us and not build these monstrosities? How are they able to stay clear of "terrorists" and maintain much higher living standards?

        November 12, 2013 at 10:49 am |
      • TheThinker

        I'm first in line to suggest that maybe, possibly, the cost of the Ford class exedes it's worth.
        However, for one to consume internet bandwidth by saying "I don't understand", or to misunderstand (completely) the value of an aircraft carrier is to just throw nonsense into any real discourse.

        I defy anybody to deny the value that aircraft carriers have proven since WW2.

        Power projection: the ability to position a meaningful presence of modern combat aircraft off any coast gives the ability to project military power 500 miles inland. The Air Force simply can not do this, and they need the permission of host governments before executing an attack.

        Flexibility: an aircraft carrier can serve as a base for humanitarian efforts. It can perform the battlespace control mission (i.e. air, surface, and subsurface control). Despite what a neophyte might read in a Tom Clancy novel, submarines can not protect a convoy from hostile air and surface attacks.
        Aircraft carriers can perform search and attack missions, and they are big enough to operate AEW aircraft, which extends the task group's air-control capability. (Note: the Royal Navy lost several ships in the Falkland Islands war because their tiny aircraft carriers could not operate a fully-capable AEW aircraft.)

        Finally, history teaches us that the nation which controls the seas is the nation that controls its destiny. The Roman Empire was nothing until it controlled the Mediteranean. The Spanish Empire reigned supreme until its navy was crushed by the Royal Navy, at which point the British Empire reigned supreme for the next three centuries.
        After WW2, the Soviet Union with its unstoppable army was given domain over the buned-out wrecked part of eastern Europe. The United States, a naval power, had major influence over western Europe, the entire western hemisphere, and all of the Pacific Ocean, and gained influence over the Indian Ocean when the British vacated.

        So aircraft carriers are not simply monuments to past glory.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:12 am |
      • Person of Interest

        mbane, first of all Austria is a landlocked country so unless they wanted a flying carrier I would assume you mean Australia, which has 4 carriers. Secondly, let me answer some of your questions:

        "How are they able to have more freedom than us and not build these monstrosities?"
        The reason most countries allied with the US don't have them is because they have ours (perhaps we should tax them) and we will bail them out should the need arise. The reason non-allied countries such as China and Russia don't have many is because it would be senseless to try to outmatch the US Naval might. They couldn't compete so why try. This is why China has some of the most advanced Anti-Ship missiles in the world.

        If you actually knew what you were talking about and not having anti-military rant (I'm a soldier and I'm anti-war), you could name numerous weapons systems that are far more a waste of spending (see JSF Program) than a carrier that will be used for 50+ years.

        "How are they able to stay clear of "terrorists" and maintain much higher living standards?"
        Less costs on Defense. But that's because Europe is much most stable than it was 30-50 years ago. If the US would pull bases out of Europe you would see costs skyrocket. In Asia, China is currently trying to push it's will on many of the small countries in it's sphere so it can control the waters and the minerals that keep our country economically strong. So carriers are needed.

        Terrorists attack the US for a number of complicated reasons and would suggest you enlighten yourself on the subject sometime. This I think is the overarching point: Do some research. Cause if you can honestly say that 97% of countries around the world have freedom, you obviously haven't been there: Somalia, Eygpt, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Mexico, Cuba, etc.; that's 5% of your 186 count and I could go on.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
      • Ken

        Built to kill people. Yes, if necessary, but in actuality used to save. We are sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Philippines right now to help. Is Sweden or Norway doing that?

        November 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
  12. Steve

    Costing each citizen more than $400 to build it, and many times that to outfit and operate.
    We have 3 under construction and 10 in active service.

    November 12, 2013 at 8:15 am | Reply
    • sybaris

      It really doesn't work out that way.

      Do some research

      Your assumptions only make you look like an ass.

      November 12, 2013 at 8:58 am | Reply
    • Barry White

      You should try to get your facts straight before you shoot off your keyboard. We haven't laid the keel or even signed a contract on CVN 79 yet, so we hardly have 3 more under construction.

      November 12, 2013 at 11:15 am | Reply
      • Steve

        wiki:
        USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) is a planned United States Navy Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier. The ship is in construction and to be placed in commission in 2020. On 15 January 2009, Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding was awarded a $374 million contract for design work and construction preparation for John F. Kennedy. On 30 September 2010, Northrop Grumman announced a new vice president for the construction of John F. Kennedy, Mike Shawcross, and that preparations were under way to begin construction.
        On 25 February 2011, the navy conducted the First Cut of Steel ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding in Newport News, signalling the formal start of construction for John F. Kennedy.[

        November 12, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
  13. Ivar Tangen

    'The Navy christened its newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford.'
    How can we link the world most powerful warship to a religion?
    US is truly becoming a sad place on so many levels.

    November 12, 2013 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • Bryan

      It's called naval tradition. Yes, it has religious conotations, but if that truly offends you how can you possible go through your day? This is not what makes the US a sad place, you are.

      November 12, 2013 at 8:27 am | Reply
      • George patton

        Like I said before Bryan, these posts here which are in favor of the monster machines are strongly indicative of how Atheism is taking hold here in this country which breeds amorality which in turn is slowly turning this country into a sad place indeed!!!

        November 12, 2013 at 9:26 am |
    • Ed

      Where do you get religion?!?! When a ship is Christened it is NAMED! GEEZ, get a life.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:41 am | Reply
  14. JOEL M PARKER

    We should all do whatever we can to never allow this machine of satan to be used against mankind.

    November 12, 2013 at 5:09 am | Reply
    • jamessavik

      We should do even more to silence religious nuts.

      November 12, 2013 at 5:58 am | Reply
      • George patton

        Sorry for the misprint above. I meant "the biblical Satan", not just "the biblical".

        November 12, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • George patton

      Thank you, JOEL. I couldn't agree more. Judging by these monsters that we keep on building, it does appear that the biblical is slowly taking control of this earth as the right-wing politicians in Washington do a very good job of representing him!!! Moreover, judging by these posts here in favor of this monster ship, it appears that Atheism is slowly taking hold here in America, too!

      November 12, 2013 at 9:21 am | Reply
      • Bill

        If it were not for this carrier and her predecessors, you would not have the right to voice your opinions now.

        November 12, 2013 at 10:42 am |
      • nova

        @Bill, i'm not against the new carriers at all... but your statement is purely conjecture

        November 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
  15. SayanIndia

    No mention of the revolutionary Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS).

    Disappointing!!

    Sayan.

    November 12, 2013 at 4:33 am | Reply
    • emintey

      Read it again, you missed it.

      November 12, 2013 at 6:22 am | Reply
  16. Eric

    Picture of the Ranger has an incorrect caption. The original Ranger CV-4 from the early 30's was the first U.S. carrier designed and built as such.

    November 12, 2013 at 2:59 am | Reply
  17. waitaminute

    we can not call ourselves free until Obama and the progressives are voted out.

    November 12, 2013 at 2:26 am | Reply
    • SC

      It won't happen until you go back to a cave.

      November 12, 2013 at 3:14 am | Reply
    • Tammy

      You're free to call yourself, or anyone else, pretty much anything you want.

      November 12, 2013 at 6:59 am | Reply
  18. Thomas

    No one has sacrificed more for freedom than the fighting men and women of the free world. This carrier will proudly carry the name of a good man.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm | Reply
    • oneSTARman

      Where is the Free World?

      November 12, 2013 at 12:42 am | Reply
      • Barasheit

        A good point. Cannot deny it is in question now.

        November 12, 2013 at 2:11 am |
      • Thomas

        Where ever the USS Gerald Ford says it is.

        November 12, 2013 at 4:24 am |
    • Ed

      SO, the first ship of a new class is the name of that new class. Example the Nimitz class Carrier. So this new one is the Ford class Carrier? Will GM and Chrysler demand their own class? Will they put a Blue Oval or a Mustang emblem on the bow? I'll be happy when the name, Enterprise, returns to the deck of a Carrier.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:48 am | Reply
  19. oneSTARman

    GERALD FORD the Buffoon that Nixon selected to Pardon him and who is best known for falling down and a wife with a rehab center named after her – Good Name for something as STUPID and USELESS and another aircraft carrier to go along with the DOZEN we already waste a Hundred Billion dollars a year on.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      No need to go on mean internet forum rants.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:26 am | Reply
    • jamessavik

      Ford served honorably and served on ships that earned 9 battle stars in WWII. He was also a good caretaker and not an opportunist. Carriers provide capability to project power in a way that can't be equaled.

      If you weren't so bitter about it, your ignorance would actually be funny.

      November 12, 2013 at 6:10 am | Reply
    • Ryan

      Since you are so fresh on their Naval facts, This is replacing the USS Enterprise. We will see how stupid it is if a war breaks out and this ship protects your sorry butt.

      November 12, 2013 at 8:42 am | Reply
    • Ed

      Considering who is in the White House now you call Ford names? And by the way I believe we have 21 Carriers. And you should kiss the feet of the men and women that risk and give their lives so you can run your worthless mouth.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Barry White

        The USS Ford makes 11 commissioned aircraft carriers. Are you counting the ones in mothball too?

        November 12, 2013 at 11:25 am |
  20. Greenspam

    This is the type of spending Republicans can support. Billions spent on state of the art navy carrier.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • geggyg

      Construction of the USS Gerald Ford was started in 2005 under Pres GW Bush

      November 12, 2013 at 9:25 am | Reply
    • Ed

      And HOW many construction workers were employed to build that ship? Contractors, vendors, suppliers? How many jobs has your BOY obama created?

      November 12, 2013 at 10:53 am | Reply
      • billy smack

        Ed, you poor man, were talking aircraft carriers here, not politics. Can't you get off your damn soap box long enough to read a good story?

        November 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
  21. skeptic

    This carrier is expected to last until 2057, unless it gets bombed out of existence before then.

    November 11, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • Billyhey

      You mean like the all the less advanced Nimitz class carriers that were bombed out of existence? Oh wait that's right, none of them were.

      November 12, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • Ed

      Because of their size it takes nothing short of a Nuke to sink a Carrier. And a Carrier battle group has a 300 mile 360 sphere of detection.

      November 12, 2013 at 10:55 am | Reply
      • Crrelum

        The ocean is 300 miles deep?

        November 12, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • Billyhey

        @CCrelum LOL. Ironically, one of the biggest threats to a carrier is a submarine. Especially in shallow waters. The USN is definitely a 'blue water' navy for the most part, Zumwalt destroyer being a notable exception and big departure from our standard design idealogy.

        November 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
  22. righton

    Call me crazy but a warship powered by nuclear reactors sounds a little bit of an oxymoron (or moronic idea) doesn't it? What if it gets bombed to bits?

    November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      You don't expect modern journalists to actually spend a few minutes on Wikipedia checking that out ,do you?

      November 11, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Reply
    • John Dedon

      Nuclear Power is a perfect fit for ships. Worst case scenario even if you could penetrate reactor vessel you would have a localized radiation/contamination problem. The reactor vessel is so strong chances of penetration are remote. I servedonnuclear submarines for 13 years, military has outstanding record in operation and nuclear power allows ships to steam at flank speed to reach their destinations to serve country. Admiral Rickover (Father of nuclear navy) was a genius, to bad we don't have any individuals with his talent today!

      November 11, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • Billyhey

      It would take a slew of direct hits from conventional weapons to sink a carrier. Nuclear power is great for large vessels because it means you don't have to have bulky, slow, vulnerable oiler tankers to keep the ship moving. You have virtually inexhaustible power for propulsion, flight ops, warfare systems, not to mention fresh water for the crew, the list goes on and on. Most nuclear vessels outlast their usefulness before their reactor needs to be replaced.

      November 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  23. Jake

    I bet Tom Clancy would've written a great book about this ship..

    November 11, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  24. BHH

    FAIL. The caption on the slide show describes the "Ranger" as the first carrier designed as a carrier from the outset. Fine. True. If you're talking about the ORIGINAL RANGER. This 1964 picture is obviously the second Ranger.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  25. BHH

    Seems to me that any ship named "Gerald Ford" would be accident prone. -_-

    November 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  26. Narg

    We need to stop building these things. What the world really needs are Jagers. The Kaiju are coming, and it's the only way to save humanity!

    November 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Reply
    • Ken

      Best post yet

      November 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  27. theseconddavid

    Only one person gets to dictate peace. The person with the power to kill everyone else.

    November 11, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Reply
  28. Steven Gold

    $13 Billion.
    Still better than the costs with ground troops and equipment of the last few wars, by quite a bit.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Reply
  29. Rufus T. Firefly

    I guess we should just stop maintaining our technological edge. That'll show 'em!

    November 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Reply
  30. whoyourname

    And they want gun control to promote peace on earth.What a joke.

    November 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Xcept that gun control DOES WORK

      November 11, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  31. gary

    waste of $$$ and fuel. More senseless war machine madness. Defense contractors have free access to our tax money. USA is dying of a corrupt gov't. I wish for peace to us all.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • Justin

      We're currently in the most peaceful period in the history of mankind.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
      • gwtheyrn

        In large part due to US naval power.

        November 12, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  32. babooph

    US showed a surface navy obsolete V/S nuclear attack[in 1946]...only 1 other nation has been dumb enough to build a full size carrier since[France].. waste like we have in the States is close to treason..

    November 11, 2013 at 7:46 pm | Reply
    • gary

      I agree!

      November 11, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Reply
    • erfrtrtgtr

      The Chinese just built one and no its not a bad idea. You don't even know what you are talking about. The fact is more and more countries will likely be against us in the future this is what we need. Our Navy needs updating. You people don't know what you are talking about. All you care about is the $$$ amount instead of the defense and offensive things involved.

      November 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm | Reply
      • okiejoe

        China bought a partially complete carrier from Russia and is finishing construction. It is probably meant to impress the neighboring countries rather than being a true deep water, go anywhere vessel. Of course, the Western Pacific/Indian Ocean is the only area they are really concerned with.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
      • billy smack

        but I thought we were all fired up about cutting expenses, balancing the budget, and so on. Now we have this article talking about saving money on light bulbs? How much did this ship cost? As a nation we must maintain our defenses or we will not be a nation for long. But at the same time, we must decide, will we line the coat pockets of contractors building ships and airplanes which we cannot afford or will we starve our elderly. The choices are few, the answer is simple, if the hawks want to build, we need more money, fewer tax exemptions, fewer hand outs to foreign enemies, higher taxes on the wealthy, and so on. None of these options are favorable. So for those in this article who tend to support the expenses of this vessel, do you also support the expenses of supporting your veterans, your elderly, your sick and your poor? Don't get your right/left rant going, I am just asking for your opinion.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
      • Billyhey

        The Ford is replacing the Enterprise which is being decommissioned, so it's not a net increase in the size of the fleet. And recall the Enterprise was a "proof of concept" carrier that Rickover brought to life decades ago. While the Enterprise served with distinction, it is decades old, far more expensive to maintain, and needs to be replaced. 99.999% of the people on this thread don't have cars half as old as Enterprise.

        November 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm |
    • geggyg

      It was started and funding approved by Pres GW Bush , so will consider trying

      November 12, 2013 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • geggyg

      It was started in 2005 , Pres GW Bush signed the final spending bill for in 2006 , will you consider putting him on trial for treason

      November 12, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
  33. Harry

    How much money did we have to borrow from the Chinese to build it and when will we be handing it over to the Chinese to pay down some of the interest?

    November 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • geggyg

      Ask Pres GW Bush for that info .

      November 12, 2013 at 9:32 am | Reply
  34. TheBob

    Just another mega-expensive welfare program for the military-industrial complex. We already had 12 aircraft carriers. And there were a total of only 13 aircraft carriers in the world (in service). Now a total of 14, 13 being ours. Tell me the military-industrial complex is not running this country.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • joeybaltimore

      it has to TheBob – California & Virginia would have lots of out of work hungry people without these jobs... its not like we have a manufacturing industry any more...

      November 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      There are at least two false statements in the above statement. For starters, the US only maintains a maximum of 10 CATOBAR super-carriers, not 12 as stated above. By the time the USS Ford is turned over to the navy (which isn't scheduled until 2016 at the earliest), another carrier will have been decommissioned or in the process of doing so. Also, there are more than 13 carriers in service worldwide. The actual number in service currently is reported at 21.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
      • babooph

        All shown obsolete against nuclear attack in 1946,our military budget wasted for endless years...

        November 11, 2013 at 7:49 pm |
    • Harry

      The very thing that President Eisenhower warned us about has come to pass.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • Steve

        And then some.

        November 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  35. Rocinante

    Refit and redeploy the Iowa Class battleships too.

    November 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  36. William

    Full size carriers are a big expensive mistake these days.The Chinese are developing a maneuverable ballistic anti-carrier missile that can take out a carrier from mainland China,thus denying the U.S. access to the South China Sea if the commies decide to invade Taiwan.Much better to build pocket carriers in large numbers-that way,they can't prevent U.S. support of Taiwan if war breaks out.

    November 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • JWoody907

      So many things are wrong with your assessment. Carriers have multi-faceted defenses both in the fleet and by themselves, and the Chinese are hardly our military adversaries. Any problems with China will be a diplomatic or economic conflict, not military.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Reply
      • William

        I sure as hell hope you are right.The Chinese are determined to reunite Taiwan with the mainland,either peacefully or by force,and the Taiwanese are determined to stay independent,so China is much more of a military challenge than the Russians.Don't get me wrong-I want to see the U.S. maintain an effective global military presence.What's wrong with a fleet of pocket carriers,each carrying 20 strike fighters? Back that up with Aegis class cruisers with anti-missile defences,and an adversary would think twice about attacking such a task force.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
      • William

        Well,in the Falkands war,Exocet missiles came damn close to sinking British ships.The warhead of one missile didn't detonate,which probably saved it.Come to think,they had Phalanx batteries,but they weren't turned on,if I remember correctly.I wonder if they could have stopped the Exocets?

        November 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
      • William

        And my point is that missiles make the capital ships of the past obsolete.One $10 million missile can sink a $10 billion carrier.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
      • Tom

        Uh, William? *Two* modern exocet missiles couldn't sink one tiny, expendable frigate (the USS Stark) even though all of the Stark's missile defenses were off, the commander in the bathroom, and the radar operators asleep at the switch. As long as you don't build their superstructures out of aluminum (which is what got the British in trouble in the Falklands) modern warships are darned hard to sink with missiles. What makes you think they'll do any better against a much larger, much better-armored supercarrier? And don't forget a carrier never travels alone. Even getting with launch range of a carrier is damned difficult, let alone actually hitting one. If the carriers have anything to fear, it will be from submarine-launched torpedoes, not missiles.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:51 pm |
      • James

        William: The British did not have Phalanx system, the only defensive system they had during Falkland was Seawolf SAM which was not facing the threat axis.

        The media and general population has some kind of 'hard on' for Phalanx; everytime there is ship defensive discussion, people are talking about Phalanx as if it's the only effective ship defense system. The fact of the matter is, Phalanx is an ineffective system and US Navy is removing Phalanx on all of the new ship builds (for example, USS Ford will not have any Phalanx units).

        The main defensive firepower of a US carrier is not Phalanx, but comes from wide area 360 degrees integrated air & missile defense system known as Aegis. A carrier battle group consists of several Aegis-enabled destroyers and cruisers and are able to handle massive saturation attacks. It's no secret that during the end of Cold War, the latest Soviet doctrine for properly attacking a US carrier battle group was to at minimum, commit to a regimental Backfire raid, which would account to about 140 incoming anti-ship cruise missiles. This level of saturation is what Aegis is designed to handle. While all anti-ship missiles are very real threats, certainly, a single or few Chinese DF-21 ASBMs won't be a an easy game changer as most people would think.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
      • Robert

        True. And a carrier is never by itself. Its part of a carrier group which includes multiple ships and subs. You never put a carrier out to sea by itself.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • Joe Silva

      Ah huh and I guess China's new carrier and the other one they're building is just something to do since they're obsolete.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      China can't invade Taiwan because they don't have the amphibious or airlift capability. As for denying a US carrier battle group access to the South China Sea, that's beyond China's military capability. What the vast majority of armchair generals like this guy fail to realize is that the deck of a US super-carrier is the most protected piece of real estate on planet earth (when it's accompanied by the rest of the battle group).

      November 11, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      For the record, CIWS (a.k.a phalanx) is a last line of defense for incoming missiles/aircraft. In order to get to where CIWS has to engage the missile, it would have to get through the AEGIS umbrella. AEGIS is essentially the naval version of the US Army Patriot anti-ballistic missile system. It's the same platform that shot down a satellite in orbit a few years ago. And in order to get to where AEGIS has to engage the missile, the aircraft or ship that launches it would have to get through the AWACS/fighter patrol that monitors everything going on within several hundred miles of the carrier.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      I thought I covered this earlier.

      Cost of one Ford-class aircraft carrier: approx. $13 billion
      Carrying capacity: between 80-100 fighter/attack aircraft (the F-35C is significantly smaller in area than the F/A-18E)

      Cost of one America-class amphibious assault ship: approx. $3.4 billion
      Carrying capacity: maximum of 20 AV-8B harriers or F-35Bs (less in future variants due to inclusion of a well deck)

      So, without even discussing the reduced performance or payload capacity of the F-35B versus the F-35C, I've already shown that the cost of multiple smaller carriers is more than the cost of one super-carrier.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
      • okiejoe

        Of course, ten small carriers can be in ten different hot spots, a super carrier can only be in one and it takes time to move to another, even at 30 knots.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • Lawless4U

      While China "may" some day develop a vessel with missiles capable of taking out another ship, they will never be able to harm one of our carriers. You see, our carriers travel as part of a carrier group. These groups have ships (destroyers and guided missile frigates) that are currently capable of what you say China "may" one day be able to do.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • joeybaltimore

      if china did try and take out a carrier – or took one out – what's stopping us from using 3 to 4 slbm subs worth of trident D5's to make china parking lot – and kill 2 Billion people? do we really need lamps and tommy the tank train engine's that bad?

      November 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  37. George patton

    We have a failing infrastructure, our schools and libraries are closing, many people still don't have adequate health care while our police and firemen are being laid off and those idiots in Washington build this monstrosity at the cost of some $12.8B! If this isn't governmental corruption, then what is? This is absolutely ridiculous!!!

    November 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Reply
    • Joe Silva

      Hmm, have a computer, internet and able to freely speak your mind. Wonder how that happened.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Reply
      • Rocinante

        +1

        November 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
      • whoyourname

        Not for long.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • joeybaltimore

      Without these carriers and military toys being built Patton – we would would have 20% to 30% unemployment in many states – while expensive – think of the whole economy worth of people working in defense jobs, at all the restaurants and dry cleaners, stores and municipal govt's where these workers live? half of some states entire GDP is military spending. all the other things you talk about – schools, infrastructure – are paid by the TAXES these military industry workers pay.

      November 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Reply
      • The Integral

        From a technical standpoint it is impossible for a person in the military industrial complex to "pay taxes", since all of their income is generated by someone or a corporation who works for a living, i.e. they generate profit and a percentage of the profit is given to the government in the form of taxes. That is why every country who maintains a standing defense force eventually goes bankrupt or close to it until they give up on their pipe dream of world domination.

        November 11, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
      • geggyg

        If some of these " military toys " weren't built but the funding directed towards productive infrastructure , and better health care , education etc unemployment would be lower than it is now . Most military equipment projects aren't very labour intensive , much of the money goes toward high cost metals , electronics and weapons systems

        November 12, 2013 at 9:40 am |
      • TiredOfPaying

        Try applying that logic to the Police State and you'll see why the failed War on Drugs continues. Such logic DOES NOT rationalize the waste of tax dollars. Close em down, fire em, make some new industry. Continuing to pay people for jobs that are not needed is right out of Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged'. 'After all, these people have a right to a living too.'

        November 12, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
    • erfrtrtgtr

      No its not. First off this was in plans before the economy tanked. Second off we need defense and offense more then ever now. You never can put a dollar price on our protection. We should be spending more. What do you think happened to Rome?

      November 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Reply
      • David

        What happened to Rome was that they spent all their money on the military and lining the pockets of politicians. Rome doesn't exist anymore. ;)

        November 12, 2013 at 6:39 am |
      • TiredOfPaying

        Really, really bad anology. What happened to Rome is that they could no longer afford the costs of the huge military so they gave regional governers the ability to raise their own taxes to pay for defense. Note the 'cannot afford' part.

        November 12, 2013 at 12:47 pm |
    • cjccja

      We need both the US military could and should be reduced by about 50%, to half it's current size. The money, some of it could pay for education and health care.

      Eventually we all know this will happen. Sooner would be better.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  38. Brad4

    Thankfully it was not named USS Obama because we all know that will sink.

    November 11, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      Awww, still angry that a superior black man smackdowned not one but two of your useless white trash $2 haircut grey skin loozers? :)

      November 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm | Reply
      • Evon

        As a person of color, it saddens me to see people of my skin color become as racist as the white racists have been in the past. No good will ever come from hating people. Just because a man of color was elected to President, does not mean that people of color are still not behind in almost every category being measured today, with the exception of a handful of elite athletes and entertainers.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • michael

      Or in the case of Obamacare it wont work and will be stuck in dry dock for years to come. To the guy who believes a 10 million dollar missle trumps a 10 billion dollar acc. What drugs are you on? In what reality has you ever seen a missle wipe out a acc? Name me once? The acc strike group is the most effective long range weapon that the US has. Debate that. ICBM's are redundant. That is why they are not made anymore. Big missles that no longer are useful. Technology made them ineffective, the number 1 reason why the cold war died? Technology. Ever hear of the B1 and B2 ? If the US wants to kill something they'll just send in a B1 with a cruise missle.ICBM? Technology from an age that no longer is relevant. Carrier Strike groups are effective because of their superior technology.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • geggyg

      Pres GW Bush approved the name USS Gerald Ford in 2006 when he signed the final spending bill for it

      November 12, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  39. david freethinker citizen

    There are many aspects to this new carrier. To be fair, realize the carrier is here to stay; but the original acquisition numbers will be reduced. Whether the carrier is needed or not is of peripheral consequence; when political considerations are paramount. A long time ago I tracked programs for uncle. And was involved in some operations. Dude it was almost surreal..............FOLLOW THE MONEY, POWER, AND PRESTIGE

    November 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  40. Hyperbollide

    Looks like the politicians get stock dividends from the military industrial complex. Self directed profit is not so cliche afterall. Tard babies for the win.

    November 11, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      Well said, Hyperbollide. That appears to be the case while our infrastructure falls apart, our schools and libraries continue to close and police and firemen getting laid off in droves! This is getting more ludicrous by the day!

      November 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  41. Admiral Ackbar

    Politically, we are The Empire an this is just another USS Death Star

    November 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      So, according to your way of thinking, Osama bin Laden is actually a real life proxy for Luke Skywalker?

      November 11, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Reply
      • Jim2

        No, by his example, Pres. Obama would be Darth Vader.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
  42. Doug J

    Unbelievable! What a waste of money. Our crumbling infrastructure should be our priority. The idea that we can maintain a huge military and not compete economically is ridiculous.

    November 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • tossant

      You are probably not the only who would only appreciate it until peace is under threat again. The sad reality is it's getting harder and harder to overlook the aggressiveness of the Chinese.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Reply
      • Lyndsie Graham

        Gee whiz tossant, what a stupid comment this is! Don't you know any better?

        November 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
      • okiejoe

        The Chinese government has been, and remains, at war with America since 1950.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
      • The Integral

        Aggressiveness of the Chinese? Do the Chinese have their troops in 140 foreign countries? Do the Chinese have carrier battle groups all over the world? Do the Chinese spend more on defense than the next thirteen countries in the world combined? Do the Chinese invade other countries? There is only one aggressive country in the world in 2013: the United States.

        November 11, 2013 at 9:46 pm |
  43. Admiral Ackbar

    IT'S A TRAP!!

    November 11, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  44. Ben

    If the new carriers are similar in size to the old ones, why can't the old be retro-fitted with new technology?

    November 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Because once you weld them together, you would have to cut giant holes in the deck to do major retrofits. It's not economical. Reactors and plumbing and wiring have a finite life, especially at sea.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      It would actually cost more to retrofit a Nimitz class with the new technology. Same concept as trying to update a classic sports car with modern suspension, brakes, engine and electronics. The ships would essentially have to be torn apart, down to nothing more than an empty hulk, to pull it off.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  45. RobertL

    Since the core of this discussion seems to revolve around defense spending, I thought I'd offer up this "little" morsel of food for thought.

    Imagine you are in a room with about 190 other people, and parts of the room are sectioned off from the rest. Now, the people in this room may speak different languages than you. Some are kind and willing to help others, while some are cruel and will plot to take what others have. Some of the people in this room are well off, with the means and know how to take care of themselves. Others are literally starving to death. Some place a high value on human life and individual liberty, while others see murder as a means to an end.

    You are fortunate because you live in a sectioned off area that has plenty of food and water. You have enough space for you and your (somewhat) friendly neighbors to move around in. You lack for nothing substantial, albeit there are luxuries which you crave that others possess.

    Being of a type that abhors conflict except in time of need, you elect to trade some of your individual wealth and property with others in the room, in exchange for the luxury items you crave.

    Over the course of time, you make friends with others in the room. Whether it be because you share common values, a common language, or just like what they have to offer.

    One day you find out that an individual at the far end of the room is speaking out against your democratic ideals. They have different values and claim a belief that everyone, despite their abilities and contributions, should be equal. Although in practice they treat everyone like a peasant. They have even gone so far as to make naked threats against you.

    You and your friends decide to unite against this perceived threat, and your opponent responds by forming his own alliance to thwart you. The situation escalates to the point where you both start arming your friends to fight on another. More angry words are exchanged until you eventually find yourself staring down the sights of a gun at your opponent, who has a gun pointed at you.

    Thankfully, your opponent flinches first, and backs down. In fact, he practically disintegrates before your eyes, becoming a smaller, less intimidating person.

    In a perfect world, this should be the end of the conflict, but it isn't. Some of the other sides former allies keep their weapons. They even help themselves to the leftover weapons of others from the standoff. They then begin to threaten and sometimes even deliberately harm some of your friends.

    In the aftermath of the standoff, many of your friends either threw away their weapons, lost all interest in defending others, or both. You suddenly find that you alone have the means and ability to protect your friends. Although you find that it means sacrificing some of your material wealth to do so...

    Now I ask you who read this, what would you do? Leave your friends to be threatened, bullied, and sometimes even butchered by others who would kill to take what they want? Or would you take up arms and fight for those who are unable to protect themselves?

    Perhaps this is something you people should think about the next time you decide to question defense spending. The core question at the heart of this discussion is not why should we spend money on our military, it's not even how much to spend. No, the core question is this:

    If not us, then whom? And the answer is nobody. Because no one else CAN, and no one else WILL, period.

    November 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Reply
    • Admiral Ackbar

      Jesus Christ, Robert!

      November 11, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • ironman59

      Perhaps if you quit pushing your ideals & values on everyone else in the room trying to force them into compliance, they wouldn't bother you. Perhaps if you didn't act like the bully in the room, they would not bother you. Perhaps if you worked on your own issues instead of pointing out flaws in everyone else, they would leave you alone. In other words quit trying to be in charge of the rooom & deal with your little corner. Let others do as they choose with their inherited or native part of the room since it is their "land". Pehaaps also if you didn't have a history of killing everyone that disagrees with your (native americans, et al.) they would leave you alone. Your need to defend yourself is something of your own creation.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Reply
      • RMRondo

        That sounds great the only problem is when you go to great lengths to mind your own business intentionally staying out of conflict you could potentially resolve because you don't want to get involved in other people's problems they still sneak across the room and sucker punch you then run back and start beating the people adjacent to them and bragging about how they can do whatever they want to anyone cause no one can stop them do you just turn a blind eye and let that go on until it escalates into a conflict that involves everyone in the room or do you deal with it while it's still relatively small and manageable for just you and spare everyone else the suffering.

        November 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • EJ

      This was very good food for thought. You have persuaded me slightly toward the value of helping others.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Reply
    • andres

      But the sad fact is that the US uses its military and monetary might to BE the bully you are so worried about. At times I am deeply ashamed at what my country does to the rest of the world. As a young lad growing up in the 50's I thought that we were the good guys. Didn't know it at the time but the US was carrying out military coups all over the earth to attempt to install 'friendly' governments. No matter the consequences to the people of those countries, then we got involved in proxy wars as well. After the downfall of the USSR we became the sole super power and the world wide bully. Shame on us.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • RobertL

        I've never claimed that we're the ones in white hats. The US has been on the wrong side of an ethical argument plenty of times. But the fact remains that someone has to serve the role of world police, otherwise we'd all have descended into anarchy long ago. The argument stands then, of if not us, then whom?

        November 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
    • JJ

      That's a very interesting delusional rationalization. Entertaining, but that's all it is.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Reply
      • RobertL

        It may seem delusional to someone who has no understanding of history and can't grasp the essence of international relations.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • The Integral

      I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream; that's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor... and surviving. -Colonel Kurtz

      You are just as crazy as he is.

      November 11, 2013 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  46. James

    The town of Newport News, VA thanks you for some continued employment while these are being built.

    November 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  47. I AM NOT

    Need three of these in the arabian gulf.

    November 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  48. hank

    When will we see the USS Johnson, USS Clinton and USS Obama? Oh wait... the military names them after leaders with mutual respect, thus the need to recycle USS Kennedy...

    November 11, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Ships are named by the military, and in recent times they almost always choose people with military service to name ships after. Makes sense now?

      November 11, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Reply
      • hank

        Reagan?

        November 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
      • RobertL

        President Reagan served in the military during WWII. According to public records, he enlisted in the US Army Reserves in 1937, was later commissioned a 2ndLt, and called up to active duty in 1942. Although he never deployed overseas due to being shortsighted.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
      • okiejoe

        Yes, Lt. Reagan spent most of the war making training and propaganda films and appearing at war bond drives. He apparently was very near-sighted but I never heard of anyone being excluded from foreign duty because of that. I met a man years ago who said he was not excluded even though he was blind in one eye. They said it wasn't his aiming eye so he was OK.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
      • okiejoe

        By the way, Reagan enlisted in April 1937 as a Private and was commissioned in May 1937. Rapid advancement in those days.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
    • Stewart Wolpin

      Actually, one of the next Ford-class aircraft carriers will be a new version of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply
    • okiejoe

      Ships are not named for living persons. They made an exception with the Ford because he was already dying.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Reply
      • joeybaltimore

        Wrong – google USS George HW BUSH – already at sea... do some research... and he's definitely living – he went to the launch of his own boat!!!

        November 11, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
      • okiejoe

        mea culpa. Sorry about that.

        November 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
      • geggyg

        Pres Carter also has a ship named after him , he is still alive

        November 12, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  49. mike

    The "Gerald Ford"? Oh geez...this thing has "accident" written all over it.

    November 11, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  50. The Integral

    If anyone wants to know why the US is 17 trillion in debt with 124 trillion of unfunded liabilities all you have to do is look at the USS Gerald Ford. Meanwhile the industrial base has moved to China, the infrastructure is in disrepair, and the US has third world levels of education and health care. That is what happens when the Military Industrial Complex takes over a country.

    November 11, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Matty13

      "Military Industrial Complex!!!" You just made that up, didn't you? Man, you are so smart.

      November 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Reply
      • mike

        Not sure I understand the snarky response to his reference to a very real thing.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
      • tom

        No he didn't make it up. The "defense" companies have become so powerful that they can influence national policy. We MUST be a world policeman because every little corner is critical to our prestige and future.. just ask John McCain. Our military spending and giveaways to countries like Israel (several billion a year) are a major reason why there is a debt crisis.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • mike

      I would actually beg to differ. Left wing losers like you who see income redistribution and free government handouts as the solution. Why would anyone want to work when they can sit at home and leech off the working middle class. This is why we are in debt and lack the creative spark that used to drive this country it's not a navy ship that destroying us it's uneducated nuts like you.

      November 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
      • PMD2011

        9 of the 10 poorest and least educated states are Republicans. FYI, the $17 Trillion Debt were from wars ($4 Trillion), Tax Cuts ($4 Trillion), and other GOP policies.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
      • tom

        "Why would anyone want to work when they can sit at home and leech off the working middle class."

        Mike, if you would bother to investigate before spouting out your perceptions that the lazy poor liberals are getting rich at home from your taxes, you would find out that the amounts people get from government assistance is VERY SMALL. Its at bare subsistence levels. People are suffering and are not going to just sit around freeloading if they can get a job. Jobs are hard to get. Have you ever been unemployed? Think and fact-check before opening mouth.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:11 pm |
      • scott cisney

        Name calling? I thought we were a "Christian Nation"....do better. Aircraft carriers are a thing of the past. Drones will be able to fly great distances and loiter on station. A large expensive ship simply becomes a target to be defended rather than defending something of real value...

        November 11, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • ironman59

      Let's not forget this is what the gop considers "smaller government". We already have more carriers than the rest of the world combined (or close to it). Yet we have allocated trillions of dollars to more military hardware. Eventually the gop is going to attempt to find a reason to justify it's use as well.

      November 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Reply
      • RobertL

        Well, when you consider that the USS Ford and her future sister ships will do more by leaps and bounds to protect Americans than, say, Obamacare. I suppose it's justified.

        November 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
      • sybaris

        when you understand the geographic position of the U.S., the deployment and maintenance cycles of carriers then you might be able to formulate a reasonable assessment of the Navy and it's commitments. Until then your posts will continue to be like your last one........ indicative of your ignorance

        November 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
      • tom

        "RobertL

        Well, when you consider that the USS Ford and her future sister ships will do more by leaps and bounds to protect Americans than, say, Obamacare. I suppose it's justified"

        Just how is bombing the enemies of Israel, protecting Americans? Every country we attack is one of Israel's enemies. Was Iraq a threat to us? No! Never. You saw how fast they were defeated... a month if I remember correctly? Really dangerous (to USA) country!

        November 11, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • ALLuh

      pretty much, we're screwed

      November 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Reply
    • zelskid

      Does anyone believe it will last to the turn of the century?

      November 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • tom

        It will last that long if they've engineered it that way, but just like battleships that went obsolete, so too will the aircraft carriers. Technology always changes.

        November 11, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  51. John McKane

    What a horrific waste of our tax money! That money could far better be spent on education, road repair and medical research such as a cure for MS, AIDS, ALS, Alzheimer's plus a host of other hopeless diseases instead of this monstrosity!

    November 11, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • Carl

      You are an idiot...

      November 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Reply
      • Random

        Im with Carl.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Matty13

      They are already spending enough on that.

      November 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • mike

        We spend 400% more on defense than the next highest spending country. Sorry, this is a gross waste and you're bad at math if you don't see it.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Mike

      This carrier cost $12.9 billion. In addition to serving as a more capable replacement in a very aging cornerstone of our national security, that amount provided employment for thousands over a 10 year period and provided a carrier that will be in service for another 50 years, crewed by hundreds of thousands over its life span. $12.9 billion. Michelle Obama's healthy eating program cost $45 billion. Which one is the real horrible waste of resources?

      November 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Reply
      • PML SR

        Amen!

        November 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  52. James

    Did anyone else notice the author of this piece says the "U.S. Navy entered the 22nd century on Saturday". I think the author needs to think about what century he is in. The ship is only supposed to last until 2057, 43 years short of the 22nd century.

    November 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      And that comment is explained exactly 2 sentences later, when the author mentions that (given current production/in service schedules) the Navy will still have Ford class carriers in service during the 22nd century.

      I'm as critical of sloppy journalism as anyone else, but your own failures at comprehending a well written article really shouldn't be laid at the author's feet.

      November 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Reply
  53. David Barlin

    Article in error. Roller coasters are not propelled by q rail gun. Which has high velocity, require an exceptional amount of electricity ($$$)

    November 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  54. Smokey17

    So we have ten carriers and three under construction. Who are we fighting? Guys who live in caves and mud-huts? The USN is bigger than the next 13 Navies combined and most of those are allies. I am a USN vet and served on a aircraft carrier so I am not anti-military. I just don't why we need so many of these carriers? I would think six would be more than enough. Who else has carriers? France, maybe Russia but I think they sold it to China. What we could we could be doing with all this money. Pay off part of the debt, provide health care for all. Maybe exploring space with real humans. The Cold War is over, what nation threatens us?

    November 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      Forgive me for being philosophical here, but history has shown us that the strongest of allies can become the bitterest of enemies practically overnight. A simple miscommunication and/or series of events could kick off World War III as soon as next week. God forbid it does happen, but if it did, I guarantee you won't hear people complaining about the cost of aircraft carriers, short of a few nut jobs here and there.

      November 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Reply
    • okiejoe

      Trouble is, a carrier can only be in one place at a time, if there are several hot spots then you need at least one carrier for each. It takes days, sometimes weeks, to get a carrier task force from the US to where it is needed, usually to relieve another carrier that needs to return for resupply.

      November 11, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  55. jonusb

    Couldn't they think of a better name for the modern aircraft carrier that is expected to be in service for more than four decades? Ford's most noteworthy contribution during his barely three years as President was the pardoning of Nixon.

    November 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • Lyndsie Graham

      I'd much rather have his name on that killer ship than mine! There is a Senator from South Carolina who has a name similar to mine and that is embarrassing enough!

      November 11, 2013 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • ssdfg

      It sure is going to be embarrassing when this thing trips and falls down a flight of stairs!

      November 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • mike

      Well, that and falling down the stairs.

      November 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • hank

      The military is running out of Republicans of mutual respect. You don't expect them to name one after a Democrat other than Kennedy, do you?

      November 11, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Reply
      • DirtySkuv

        What, you mean like the USS Jimmy Carter submarine? Or the USS Lyndon B. Johnson destroyer that will sail in 2018? Or the USS Roosevelt destroyer that was commissioned in 2000?

        November 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
      • hank

        Yes, all of those non-aircraft carriers. You get it now.

        November 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Tim in LA

      Don't forget his tripping down the stair of Air Force One. I fear for this carrier. Hopefully it's better balanced then Ford was...

      November 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  56. Birder

    Don't any mention of how much this thing cost. Seems to be somewhat of an oversight. I believe the cost is somewhat in excess of $13 billion dollars according to a source I found on the internet. That is most likely a low ball figure.

    November 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Reply
    • jim

      For $10B dollars, you could by 500,000 cars. Seems like if you gave anyone who hated America a $20,000 Chevy, you'd need a lot less carriers, and Chevy would be making a lot more cars!

      November 11, 2013 at 3:16 pm | Reply
    • RMRondo

      9 billion per carrier plus 5 billion in R&D plus other expenses to bring the whole program cost to around roughly 100 billion dollars.

      November 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm | Reply
      • Will Zhang

        5 billion and 9 billion add up to 14 billion.
        Compare to your 100 billion of total cost, what happened to the 86 billion?

        November 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
      • Chris

        Will Zhang,

        If you actually read the article, you would see that they are making 10 of these. The comment was referring to the final cost of all 10....

        November 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
      • RMRondo

        Thank you for the clarification Chris

        November 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
  57. Lawles4U

    Just as a discussion point, I wonder why they made it so large and have a catapult system on it? With the F35 Joint Strike Fighter (the newest fighter) being STOVL capable, neither is needed. They could have built more, smaller carriers to maintain a presence around the globe.

    November 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • J

      The f-35 isn't the only aircraft that will be using this carrier. 18s and a variety of ISR aircraft will still be based from the ford

      November 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm | Reply
      • Lawless4U

        I will only reply to one of you guys although the same answer applies. The newest carrier should only be armed with the newest weapons and newest fighters. We have Nimitz class carriers that can and will continue to serve duty around the world.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm |
    • Andy

      As J mentioned above, the F-35 is one of the multiple platforms used on a carrier You can also expect the F-35 to be working along side F/A-18's for quite sometime until the entire fleet is replaced. That being said, the EA-18G Growler (same platform as F-18's) is the Navy's electronic warfare aircraft. I expect a number of old F/A-18s will be converted to EA-18s thus the need to keep the catapult system, not to mention the upcoming drone fleet currently being tested.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • Matty13

        Some are, some arn't

        November 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm |
    • T Press

      Lawles, fighter aircraft aren't the only planes that use a carrier. The E-2 Hawkey and the C-2 Greyhound are just two examples of much larger but absolutely necessary carrier planes.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • RobertL

      Only the F-35B is VTOL capable. It also doesn't have nearly the payload or performance capabilities of the -35A or -35C models. For the record, though, the US does operate a fleet of exactly the type of carrier you're describing. They're called amphibious assault ships, essentially helicopter carriers, which the F-35B was designed specifically to operate from. These ships primary purpose is to serve as transport and air support platforms for Marine Expeditionary Units during amphibious (ship-to-shore) operations. They are not nuclear powered like our super-carriers, and carry only a small fraction of the firepower.

      So to answer your question, a VTOL carrier is designed to support limited combat operations on a small scale, and that is the limit of their capability. By comparison, a super-carrier is designed to dominate the airspace in a region covering several hundred square miles. It would take a dozen VTOL carriers to provide the air support and deep strike capability of one Nimitz-class carrier. When you consider the cost of a dozen of them versus one super-carrier, especially one that has the increased capabilities of the Ford-class, the cost seems like a bargain.

      November 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm | Reply
      • Lawless4U

        I know the differences between the 3 versions of the F35. I alos know that having 3 versions is a tremendous waste of money and time qualifying those 3 versions. Our government should have requested a single version and mandated that all 3 branches of the military that will use F35s use the same version.

        November 11, 2013 at 7:26 pm |
    • jim

      This boat should come in really handy in the mountains of Afghanistan!
      Just more Defense Corporate WELFARE !!!

      November 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm | Reply
      • RobertL

        Short-sighted much? Only a fool would assume the next major conflict is going to involve a landlocked country in Asia. Anyone with a 3rd grade education knows that over 70% of the planet is covered by water. Aside from which, maintaining a Navy of unassailable strength is essential to our national security. Anyone who argues otherwise is either ignorant, or refuses to learn the lessons of history.

        November 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
      • Martin J

        Oh Jim, to be that naive...

        November 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
    • DirtySkuv

      Not all F-35's are VTOL versions. The US Navy is not using the VTOL version. The Navy is replacing the F/A-18 with the, one of 3, variant of the F-35. The Marines are replacing the F/A-18 and Harrier.

      November 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  58. ireuel

    So if we don't build new ones to replace very old ones, then where do we employ the massive amount of people that make a living making these? We don't and they go to where they can build them, pretty much the same places most of our manufactured products come from now. Sorry but reality is that the waters have not receded and all the world has not reset as we were promised. It in fact has become even more important to have a very strong offenses and defenses. Yes the current occupier is less popular than President Bush overseas. That is what you get when a narcissist that is only in the game for himself, by himself. He was a loner before politics and is charismatic loner still today that can speak with a silver tongue and make you believe him. He will throw anyone under the bus to his benefit. You foolish bots that are still pedaling his half truths will to be under that bus when he is done "Transforming America". Oh side bar the ACA is just a ploy to make healthcare single payer through the government. The generation that elected this guy will curse the day they voted for him, me not so much, I am at the ending times of my life and will not have to go to a Government Hospital and let non elected official bureaucrats decide if I die or live. Good luck with that. Funny I did not care for Palin but it seems she was right about Death Panels. Still don't think she is President Material, but would of been better than this guy whom has only tried to run a country without any experience in anything but he sure does read real nice.

    November 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply
    • Lawless4U

      Nothing you said makes any sense and is in fact filled with lies. The same lies you hear from the neo-con pundits and the tea partiers. We already had insurance companies making life and death dicisions for us.....so much for you death panels. And as far as our current President being less popular than his predecessor? No chance.

      I don't know where you get your info but you may want to get it from somewhere else in the future.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      You should look long and hard at what you have just posted, because in your rant is the very reason Americans do not want your kind in office. You have scribbled down a bunch of easily disproved lies. Whether you believe these lies is unimportant. What is important is that the majority of Americans do NOT believe them, and they vote accordingly. You call Obama a narcissist, yet I challenge you to find any other president in recent history who has done more for women's rights, helped the poor, helped US veterans, helped the environment. A narcissist is one that only cares about himself, does what he wants. Like invade a country because the leader once threatened his father (killing 4,500 brave young US military in the process).

      November 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Reply
      • PML SR

        I see you too have been brainwashed by the current liberal culture!

        November 11, 2013 at 10:59 pm |
  59. Gordo

    Good stuff!
    I'm not American but those that are have a reason to be proud and my hat's off to the brave soldiers and sailors who serve their country.

    November 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Reply
  60. Blahblahblah

    So, it will only serve half a term and be succeeded by a Liberal?

    November 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Dover

      It's going to bump in to everything it gets close to....

      November 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
    • RMRondo

      Its funny you said it will be followed by a liberal because the next carrier in the class is going to be the John F. Kennady

      November 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
      • Blahblahblah

        And then the new Enterprise, yes I was aware. I hope it serves far more than half it's expected term though.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
      • PML SR

        Check your history, JFK was more conservative than most Republicans in the last 20 years!

        November 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
  61. mitchgam

    Given the technological advances of any of our possible enemies, who is this designed fight?

    To me it is just another in a long string of corporate welfare hidden in the federal defense department budget.

    November 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • memphisbill

      It's designed to stay in the area as needed and provide air support. We don't have air force bases everywhere (and have been closing others) – a carrier can sit offshore and react much faster than an out-of-country air force base. This is important capability no matter who we may be facing.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • mitchgam

        Except if they have weapon systems
        IF they do it is just another sitting duck and an excuse for us to attack in force
        Not to mention the billions of dollars spent on it

        November 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
      • DirtySkuv

        mitchgam, I think you need to do some research on Carrier groups. They don't just send an aircraft carrier by itself, it has several support ships that provide to its defense. It is far from a sitting duck. Not to mention, the radar that all of the ships in the group have that would find any threat long before it had a chance to hit. It doesn't sit right on the beach. It sits several tens of miles from shore, they can't just look out and see it and know where to send planes or rockets.

        November 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Naturalized

      Group hug, anyone?

      November 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  62. Kobby

    FREEDOM is not free. Someone has to pay the price. If you get up and have the liberty to go about your business you need to be thankful and know someone paid the price for you to be free

    November 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Reply
    • Rumsfeld

      Our freedom isn't under threat by anyone other than our own government, whether republican or democrat.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • bspurloc

        no its under threat by the Christian Taliban and their Shariah laws of hate towards education and women

        November 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
    • bspurloc

      yeah it was when we threw out the British. Beyond that the USA homeland has NEVER ever been threatened. It is impossible to invade the USA unless they come thru Mexico or Canada... which isnt happening

      November 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • Snyphilis

        You may not be aware but the British came back and burned down washington.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
      • EM2 Nat Steele

        So 9/11 never happened. Neither did pearl harbor. Brush up on your history.
        We never saw either one of those coming and don't want to give anyone the chance again.
        They know if they do we will reign down the finger of God on them which is what this ship is designed to do.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
      • Rumsfeld

        Snyphilis, you may not be aware but that was THROUGH Canada. Also that was a looong time ago, the defensive technology we have now makes it practically impossible for any one nation to invade us. We dont need to keep fighting wars to maintain that edge.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
      • Rumsfeld

        EM2 – 9/11 was a crime by criminals, not a war. You don't need carriers to fight criminals.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
      • thinkagain

        The reason that the mainland United States has never been under direct attack (with the exception of when Coronado crossed into what is now U.S territory from Mexico and the 9/11 attacks) is solely BECAUSE of America's overwhelming military force. It's a deterrent that works.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
      • John Adams

        A new carrier every now and then makes good sense to me.

        And BTW Rumy, the British did not come through Canada to burn Washington, they sailed up the Cheasapeake, came ashore and then marched on DC. I think I learned this in the 5th grade.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Pandamonius

      True....Freedom ISN'T free; however, I'm tired of footing the bill for violently installing "freedom" in countries that neither want it, nor are prepared for it.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
      • EM2 Nat Steele

        And I'm tired of supporting our low life dope smoking trash.
        What's the difference. Either way your wasting money.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
  63. Ron Clarke

    Noticed that a lot of the engineering and operations are run off electromagnetic energy. Does this make the ship susceptible to an electromagnetic pulse energy weapon that would make this technology mute?

    November 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Reply
    • Old Enough

      Actually the word is moot, but that doesn't really describe it. There are ways to harden electronics against EMP. I designed some electronic components for submarines, and I assure you, this ship is hardened against EMP.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Reply
      • I. M. Appaled

        Allow me to snarkily pile on.
        Mute technology?
        You mean they can turn the sound on and off? That sounds like a form of stealth and I've never heard of such a thing.

        Military systems are routinely hardened against EMP, especially in aircraft.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • RobertL

      It's possible that an EMP would knock out some gear such as radar that has to be exposed, but most high-end US military hardware is designed specifically to survive in a nuclear environment, aircraft carriers notwithstanding.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • CoolCMo

      not "mute".... MOOT

      November 11, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  64. dbrock

    The people who think this is a colossal waste of money never seem to complain when they enjoy the cheap price of goods at the local store. If the US did not patrol the seas, the world as we know it would be in a state of complete chaos.

    November 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • Rumsfeld

      That's a BS arguement. No the world would not be in chaos.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      air craft carriers dont "PATROL" they are used for Forward Strike forces during war time.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • AnswerThat

      He has a real point. The US navy patrols the international waterways, keeping shipping prices low and a corner stone to the global economy.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  65. Tristan Thomas

    Why wasn't I invited? I helped pay for it.

    November 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  66. oneSTARman

    One More Multi-BILLION dollar Waste of Money needed to Re-Build America
    We ALREADY have a DOZEN Aircraft Carriers when China has only ONE.

    November 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Reply
    • I. M. Appaled

      Another nimrod that doesn't understand that we aren't increasing the numbers of carriers, we're replacing 50 year old carriers at the end of their useful lives. And by the way, we only have 10 supercarriers in commission right now and Nimitz will be retired when the Ford is commissioned in 2016 same as Enterprise was retired shortly after the Bush was commissioned.
      Do a little reading before you post next time. Then it will look like you know what you're talking about.

      November 11, 2013 at 1:31 pm | Reply
      • tigerrook

        Still missing the point! Why even replace them, why do we need 10? is it some magical number? why not 5 or 3? I say pull them all back to US ports, drastically cut "defense spending" costs and rebuild america. The longer we wait to do this the weaker we become. If we rebuild america we will have even more money to build even better ships in the future.

        November 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
      • Snyphilis

        10 is in fact the magic number. Its the number the navy says we neee to keep a carrier in every conflict region we operate within while also keeping several in port for various overhauls repairs and recrewing. I believe they keep one in reserve also.

        November 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
      • I. M. Appaled

        You yourself miss the point. All 10 carriers are NEVER all available at any one time. Usually only 5-6 carriers are available for service at any one time. The rest are just returning from patrol, training and getting ready for their next patrol, or are out of service for major maintenance.
        And here's a little factoid: it is reported we currently don't have enough planes to fully equip all 10 carriers at any one time.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • johnQ

        Lets test your knowledge. How many carriers does the rest of the world have combined? How much does it take to operate one carrier for an entire year. What is the national debt for the United States at this time.

        November 11, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
    • Gary T

      I happened to serve 13 years on what you call a waste of money. I am a plank owner for the USS Harry S Truman carrier and I also served on two other carriers. I served proudly and take offense to you stupid comments.

      November 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • Biased1

      Because there are more countries on the planet other than the US and China...?

      November 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  67. Dave - Phx

    A GIANT waste of money, where are all the Tea Partier's outraged at their taxes being wasted?

    November 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  68. Tony

    Great, now we can defeat the guy trying to blow up a plane with a C4 up his behind...

    November 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  69. Val Rankov

    We will fight Aliens with these "engineering marvels". I am sure the poor creatures, having flown 100 light years in a blink of an eye, will be very impressed with our technological achievements.

    November 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  70. NorthMN

    CNN got the story right that the USS Ranger was the first US ship built as intended as an aircraft carrier, and it is possible that some scrap form the original Ranger was used in the USS Ranger shown in the picture, but that's about it – the original was only a memory in 1964. They missed the most important of all carriers, the first CV named Enterprise, probably the most important ship of WWII.

    November 11, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      Pete

      Re: USS Ranger (CV-61) vs. USS Ranger (CV-4) You don't expect modern journalists to actually spend a few minutes on Wikipedia checking that out ,do you?
      And USS Enterrpise (CV-5) was the same class as USS Hornet which was included in the discussion.

      November 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  71. cackalackyank

    I have a comment about the slide show about carrier classes. Slide 14 caption seems to indicate that there was only one carrier named Ranger. That is not correct. You can tell by the date and the jet aircraft on deck. The Ranger in the photo is CV-61. It was the 3rd ship of the Forrestal class of super Carriers built in the 1950's. This ship served into the late 1990's and is currently awaiting its fate. The Carrier referred to in the caption is CV-4, the first purpose built carrier and only ship of its class. It served in the Atlantic in WWII mostly as a plane ferry, and was scrapped in 1947.

    November 11, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Reply
    • Alexander

      I was on the Somers DDG-34, when we escorted the Ranger in the Tonkin Gulf in 69. We spent many a day and night in her wake.

      November 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  72. Ralph_in_FL

    Wait until we start reading stories about all the bugs they find on the sea trials.

    November 11, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • I. M. Appaled

      All the bugs?
      That's actually normal and expected, especially in the lead ship in the class.
      But there should be far fewer bugs because of the ways and methods they used to design the Ford Class, think Boeing 777.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  73. CALiberal

    Yuck....the USS Gerald Ford. What's next the USS Three Stooges?

    November 11, 2013 at 12:35 pm | Reply
    • I. M. Appaled

      No, actually, next is USS John F Kennedy to be followed by USS Enterprise.
      I'm a liberal, always was and always will be, but I'm also realistic and pragmatic. I lived through the Ford years and Chevy Chase's impressions.
      But in the rear view of history, Gerry Ford was nowhere as bad as we pretended. It's just that he entered office behind the 8 ball and was not expecting to ever become president. Gerry is the accidental president and he did as well as he could, given the full world picture of the mid 70's and his not being prepared for office.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Reply
    • bspurloc

      as long as there never will be a USS GWB... the ship will be an instant failure launching planes in the wrong direction to strike the wrong countries then popping up flags everywhere "MISSIONS ACCOMPLISHED"

      November 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Reply
      • I. M. Appaled

        I highly doubt that there will be a George W Bush, especially as there is currently the George HW Bush which will be in service until some time around 2059. I truly doubt that the Navy will pay tribute to W much beyond displaying the only aircraft to have ever had the call sign "Navy One" at their aviation museum in Pensacola. I am also hesitant to say if there will or won't be a USS Bill Clinton. On the other hand, there will likely be a CVN named after Barack Obama, though I will not express the reasons why I believe so.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  74. Mr. Max

    The point that continues to be overlooked is. If carriers are essential to the security of the United States so is raising taxes to pay for them.

    November 11, 2013 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • Snyphilis

      "If carriers are essential to the security of the United States so is raising taxes to pay for them." The percentage of the USA's GDP that is invested into the military has gone steadily down since the 1960's. The US budget has not. During Kennedy's presidency the military was over 40% of the budget. Now it's under 20%. I argue that these ships were already paid for in taxes and other programs have encroached on the funding.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Reply
      • Think

        The military budget is nearly 60% of the US governments budget.

        November 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
      • I. M. Appaled

        Actually, the DoD, DHS, and the combined intelligence alphabet soup get around $1 trillion a year. Even at $3.2 trillion, that's "only" around 30%.

        November 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Mr. Max

        The tax cuts during the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan have probably erased any savings or forward payments.

        November 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
      • Alexander

        Our economy and the military have a lot in common. They have both been sent overseas.

        November 11, 2013 at 1:27 pm |
      • Snyphilis

        I'll give you that one...

        November 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm |
      • FactCheckr

        10% of GDP during Kennedy, 5% of GDP today.

        http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/past_spending

        November 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • John

      There's no reason to include mandatory spending in calculating the percentage for military spending. Military spending is part of the discretionary spending approved by the Congress each year and is more than 50% of discretionary spending.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  75. Mike

    You guys arent familiar with the anti missile systems of this ship I take it. Check out the wikipedia article, this thing is incredible, also capable of fitting future directed energy weapons.

    Additionally, the new technology developed (like almost everything else developed during military research) will benefit civilian life far more than the military. Just check it out, and be proud of the incredible things the US (and mankind) is capable of instead of complaining first thing =/

    November 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  76. Don

    For all intents and purposes, the US is bankrupt...having to borrow money just to pay the interest on outstanding debt yet they continue to spend Chinese dollars like it grows on trees. Sooner, rather than later, the world will come to their senses and cut off funding to this war machine. When that happens, another 'Empire' will be thrown on the trash heap of history.

    Look around you at the failing infrastructure yet the government always finds money for war. Forget roads, education, health care, social security. It's all about the misplaced need for global domination.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • Furball

      The US is most assuredly not bankrupt, it runs on credit just like the rest of the world (including everyday citizens). The Navy is the US' first line of defense. Those who control the sea and air have a whole lot of power. Also, the Navy provides other support services to civilians: Protecting us from Pirates (protecting commerce), providing support in the wake of disasters (think of the typhoon in the Philippines), etc. Also, it's not like that money disappears – it employs thousands and thousands of employees who build, maintenance and sail the ships.
      Considering the current class of aircraft carriers are really old (and based on older designs) it's about time we upgrade. Doing so every 50 or so years is not bad.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  77. Hexdragon

    I am of two minds on the whole Military Industrial Complex.... It costs us way too much money... But it does pump a lot of money into the economy.... Can we afford all these toys for the generals and admirals??? No... But can we afford companies like Lockheed and whomever built this ship go under??? Also No...

    November 11, 2013 at 11:46 am | Reply
    • Geoff

      The sad truth is all the national security needs doesn't justify a military spending that is more than that of the top 10 other nations combined. Military industry complex is simply a government jobs program, because our economy cannot provide enough jobs and opportunity to our kids.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • John

      Military spending is a very inefficient way of stimulating economy. Most of the money usually ends up in the hands of the few rich people and just ends up padding their bank accounts.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  78. AW

    I'm not anti-military, but I am anti-carrier. In this age of drone warfare, miniaturization of powerful electronics, and cheap missile technology, a Nimitz-class carrier is a sitting duck. China has their own standoff weapons and drones. It will take only a few million dollars worth of missiles to sink billions of dollars worth of ships. We'd be much better off with a smaller, stealthier destroyers and cruisers that can launch armed drones. That's the way of the future anyway. There is no chance that another 10 Nimitz-class carriers will get built.

    November 11, 2013 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • I. M. Appaled

      You are so right.
      We have absolutely no need for mobile airfields. They serve no purpose and their missions can all be handled by cruisers and destroyers.
      None at all.

      Yeah right.
      I bet you think there's no need for manned bombers either because we have fire and forget smart weapons.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:52 am | Reply
      • AW

        There are plenty of peacetime reasons for carriers, but I'm not sure, given their price tag, they are the most efficient way to do any of them.

        Hopefully we'll never find out, but I'd guess that in a real war with the Chinese our carriers wouldn't survive the first hour. They'd be the #1 tactical target, and the Chinese could send wave after wave of missiles at them until they sank. In 2013 and beyond, they're basically undefendable in a real war.

        And nice strawman argument about the bombers. I think the post was about carriers.

        November 11, 2013 at 11:57 am |
      • tigerrook

        i would rather see money dumped in to Scram Jets that can cross the glob quickly and deliver its payload. With plane that can launch from just about any in the US why do we need carriers to launch them from? Just for our growing drone army? If invested right the Tech be discovered today will make this fleets obsolete in the future. Scram Jets, Drones, Lasers, energy weapons, satellites weapon platforms "Star Wars" and a for defense we have missile defense systems (lasers and missiles) the only reason we need aircraft carriers beyond 2100 is, " Tom
        But you'll have to admit that nothing projects force like a carrier. Having a carrier appear over the horizon when two antagonists are rattling sabers has a quieting effect like no other."
        When less advanced nations mess with us we send this at but then again nothing says f'k you when you attack them from space and blow every military installation up before they can blink from or MACH 6 scram jets and space weapons.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • I. M. Appaled

      You are right about one thing, the United States will never build another Nimitz class carrier or an improved Nimitz either.
      That is now a discontinued model. Just as discontinued as the Mazda 626 and the Mercury Mystique.
      They're building Gerry Fords now derp.

      November 11, 2013 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • AW

        Another solid point. You're really doing well refuting the crux of my argument. Cheers.

        November 11, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Frank Nimitz

      That argument has been debated since the first aircraft carrier was launched (can't withstand a battleship attack) and even more so after the first Kamikaze plane hit. Every ship out there is susceptible to a concentrated missile attack. That doesn't negate the fact that the oceans take up the majority of the earth's real estate and we need mobile airbases.

      With that said I sure wouldn't want to be in the navy if we have a Pacific conflict...

      November 11, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Reply
      • tigerrook

        "that doesn't negate the fact that the oceans take up the majority of the earth's real estate and we need mobile airbases."
        No we don't, sorry you see TODAYS weapons as the future. I don't. What we need to build more MACH 6 Scram jets that dominate the Glob not just the oceans along with Space bases weapon platforms. Then protect our selves with a missile shield made up of lasers and other missiles. We no longer have a need for mobile air bases when we have long range stealth bombers and our next gens will be able to go 5,000+ nautical miles, the earth is only about 25,000 so we should be able to strike just about any from just those. Our Direct-energy weapons to defend and our rail guns can pound up to about 50 miles inland for now.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
      • I. M. Appaled

        Star Wars wasn't ready for prime time 30 years ago and it still won't be ready for prime time for another 50 years.
        Progress is being made, but there are still huge hurdles to be cleared.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • EW

      AW, you obviously know very little about the military to make a comment like that. Carriers are the key to Naval dominance and serve a much bigger purpose than typical civilians such as yourself think they do. Yes, I am a sailor in this country's Navy and trust me, I know what I am talking about. Your statement that we would be better off with new destroyers and cruisers is right in a sense but they could never replace a carrier. Carriers and they planes they carry do more missions than any other vessel this Navy has to offer. Also, if carriers are so worthless, why is it that numerous countries are trying to replicate our carriers? I guess the rest of the world is wrong too huh? Also, from sailor to civilian, you do not know what other countries are capable of nor the weaponry they carry like we do.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Reply
      • AW

        You are correct that I don't have the day-to-day experience. That said, none of the examples posed here have the benefit of having occurred during the time of 21st century warfare. There is voluminous evidence of military gear that was effective until the point at which technology made it functionally obsolete. Long bows and cavalry and propeller planes were all very effective until suddenly they weren't. There were no cheap missiles in WWII. Even in the Falklands, the Exocets used against the British navy were 1960s technology, and Argentina didn't have effectively limitless supplies of them like the Chinese would. I'm not sure that one has to have a lot of experience to understand the common-sense implications of today's warfare environment. There is, however, a lot of evidence of the military-industrial complex pushing the technology from previous years' conflicts.

        Also, as far as I know, no one has ever fired an anti-ship missile at an American carrier, let alone the dozen or more that would likely happen in a "real" war. As far as I also know, there isn't evidence of an anti-missile defense system that actually works. Every time we hear about any anti-missile test, they have been conducted under fairly artificial conditions. Trust me, I'd love to believe that they work, but I'm not sure than there is any real evidence that says that they do to the level that would be required in a real naval battle.

        November 11, 2013 at 1:18 pm |
      • tigerrook

        "why is it that numerous countries are trying to replicate our carriers?" Because they are playing catch up.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Tom

      But you'll have to admit that nothing projects force like a carrier. Having a carrier appear over the horizon when two antagonists are rattling sabers has a quieting effect like no other.

      November 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Reply
      • Rumsfeld

        prove it. Just because you say so doesn't make it so. What conflict between nations stopped with the mere presence of a carrier 'over the horizon'. you people are daydreamers, and thats what the end of US power is going to be due to, the over inflated and narcissistic sense of a lot of Americans. It doesn't take much to battle against a group of people who aren't equipped and trained the way our soldiers are nevermind all the aircraft, missiles, tanks, ships we have.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • Hexdragon

      Short history lesson: The Falkland war... Where did the British forces come from? The carrier battle group... They had no bases down there to launch a strike from. They had to come from a carrier...

      Another history lesson: Look how long it took to get everything in place in Saudi for either of the Gulf Wars... Weeks... yet the carrier group was ready in days..

      November 11, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Sandman

      I guess you don't know the first question in a crisis. That would be, "Where are the carriers?" Naval Air is an impressive thing. We can move tons of relief supplies or make you think twice about an aggressive move. It is 4.5 acres of US territory. Fly Navy.

      November 11, 2013 at 2:06 pm | Reply
      • AW

        We're not talking about an unspecified "crisis." We're talking about an actual war with the Chinese, or even the Iranians who have plenty of anti-ship missiles. As I've said, I'd love it if carriers would continue to be "invincible" for the next 40 years. Common sense, however, says they're extremely vulnerable in a real war.

        November 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • RMRondo

      You don't think the people in the pentagon didn't think of all that before they started building these things. That ship has an almost bullet proof defense for anything any country could think of throwing at it and the only reason I say almost is because I believe perfect is impossible so 99.99%

      November 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
      • AW

        I think there's a mountain of evidence that the "people in the Pentagon" don't always (or even often) consider what is likely to happen in the next war, or they consider it and then inertia takes over. They often spend time protecting fiefdoms and getting appropriations for whatever weapons systems will give them the most perceived power among the branches of the armed forces. There is literally no chance that a majority of Admirals and other naval officials would ever say publicly that carriers are "last century's technology." That is why we have executive and legislative branch authority over the military.

        November 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
      • RMRondo

        The ship is designed to be as technologically flexible as humanly possible because they are going to incorporate tons of new tech over the next decade such as direct energy weapons to instantly intercept missiles and other potential projectile based weapons because no matter how fast its moving it can't beat the speed of light. The concept of the carrier which is a mobile air base still remains relevant to modern warfare. There are planes that can launch from the U.S. and hit a target and return but that takes time and expands tremendous amounts of fuel not to mention it leaves the craft vulnerable during mid air refueling. Having a floating airport that can get aircraft close enough to their target that they spend the least amount of time in transit as possible and conserve fuel is vital to any strategic policy especially with how important ruling the skies has become to modern warfare.

        November 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
1 2

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.