Does The US Navy Really Need A Supercarrier? Nimitz-class Vs. Ford-class
(Christopher Delano/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
Big waves were made when the USS Gerald Ford launched for sea trials. The gigantic Super Carrier, the first of its kind set a standard as the most advanced warship in the world. However, not everyone was impressed by the USS Gerald Ford and many criticized it as being not far off from a Nimitz-class carrier.
In comparison, both the USS Gerald Ford and the USS Nimitz travel at speeds of 35 mph. Both ships have a capacity for up to 85 aircraft and the USS Gerald Ford is only 24 feet longer than the Nimitz. The Gerald Ford needs less manpower to operate and has a crew of 4,300 as opposed to the Nimitz with a crew of 5,000.
“The systems I think, in theory, are just phenomenal and designed to perform a certain way. And now the challenge is to be able to go out and make sure they are able to meet the mark and they allow us to do what we need to do, which is put the ship in harm’s way and go out and fight the fight. So we need to make sure we get there first.”
– Captain Brent Gaut (USS Gerald Ford Commanding Officer)
The media was finally allowed to explore the USS Gerald Ford for the first time in order to survey its new features. One of the key differences between the two carriers is that the Gerald Ford-class utilizes a magnetic launching catapult. The new catapult has met with praise despite have testing errors in 2015, although the President would prefer the new carrier revert to and older catapult system.
The Infographics show has prepared a video comparing the differences between the two carriers which covers everything from costs to weapons and everything in between.