When the USS Gerald R. Ford is finally introduced, the massive aircraft carrier will be the biggest and baddest piece of Pentagon hardware ever built – and, critics note, the most expensive.
The 1,106-foot ship, under construction in Newport News, Va., has seen cost overruns push its expected price tag up some 22 percent to nearly $13 billion, with new technology dictating changes since work began in 2007. Expected to be christened on Nov. 9, the ship will be able to launch 220 air attacks per day, will hold more than 4,000 sailors and Marines, has a nuclear reactor to provide energy, and even comes with stealth features to reduce the ship’s radar profile.
The Navy touts the ship, which will have runways to allow for simultaneous takeoffs and landings, as a landmark advance that “continues the aircraft carrier history of innovation and adaptability.”
Huntington Ingalls Industries, the maker of the ship, told FoxNews.com that the overall shape of the carrier remains the same as in older models, but that what’s packed into the ship is very different.
“The structure has been rearranged to accommodate new technology and meet all of the Navy’s operational requirements,” company spokeswoman Beci Brenton said.
That includes “flight deck changes, improved weapons handling systems, and a redesigned smaller island, all resulting in 25 percent more flight missions.”
The Navy also plans to buy another three such carriers, at a cost of $43 billion. One is slated to be called the USS John F. Kennedy and another The Enterprise, while the other one has not yet been named.
Read more at FOX NEWS.