The USS Gerald R. Ford, lead ship in a new generation of large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, is a lot more capable than the Nimitz class which it will replace. It can launch a third more aircraft sorties each day, including unmanned aircraft which Nimitz cannot. It has greatly increased electrical-power generation capacity, and far more efficient weapons handling procedures. Its multi-function radar is a revolution in sensing technology. There is more deck space and the ship has increased margin for future improvements. Meanwhile, the Ford class offers greatly decreased manning requirements, decreased maintenance burdens and $4 billion in operational cost savings across the lifetime of each carrier. It may look like a Nimitz, but by every relevant performance measure, the Ford class is a big improvement. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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