Big Beautiful Pictures Of America’s 13 Billion Dollar Super Carrier

Jonah Bennett | National Security/Politics Reporter

The USS Gerald Ford is set to enter the Navy’s service in early 2016 as the largest and most expensive aircraft carrier ever built by the United States.

Named after 38th President Gerald R. Ford, the vessel was announced by the U.S. Navy on January 16, 2007 and christened on November 9, 2013. While the ship has faced endless technical difficulties, the Navy recently stated that the USS Gerald Ford will enter the service in February 2016, replacing the old USS Enterprise.

Testing troubles, technological hiccups and cost overruns have irritated lawmakers, GOP Sen. John McCain included.

“The U.S.S. Gerald Ford was supposed to cost $10 billion and it ended up costing $13 billion,” McCain said in November. “I can’t tell you the number of things the state of Arizona could do with $3 billion.”

In November 2014, a Government Accountability Office report found that the final cost will amount to about $12.9 billion. In order to meet the deadline, some technological aspects may be excluded, the report noted.

Still, Navy officials remain hopeful at the awe-inspiring power of the ship.

“The Ford’s going to be a remarkable, capable ship … maybe the most capable ship of any Navy in the world,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Moore. “In the end, when this ship is out there at the tip of the spear anywhere in the world we’re going to be happy we have all these capabilities.”

Here are some pictures as a reminder of just how amazing the USS Gerald Ford is:

USS Gerald Ford

PCU Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) transits the James River during the ship’s launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier three for the final stages of construction and testing, 17 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Aidan P. Campbell

 

Newport News Shipbuilding floods Dry Dock 12 to float the first in class aircraft carrier, Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J. Wahl/Released)

Newport News Shipbuilding floods Dry Dock 12 to float the first in class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua J. Wahl

 

USS Gerald Ford

Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) gets underway, 17 November 2013, beginning the ship’s launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier 3 for the final stages of construction and testing. The aircraft carrier was christened 9 November 2013 and was under construction at Huntington Ingalls Industries Newport News Shipyard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Aidan P. Campbell

 

USS Gerald Ford

Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) breaks the threshold of Newport News Shipyard Dry Dock 12 into the James River during the ship’s launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier three for the final stages of construction and testing, 17 November 2013. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Second Class Aidan P. Campbell

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