The new Gerald R. Ford -class aircraft carriers may have a hefty pricetag, but many believe the cost is worth it and that the ships will prove to be even more iconic than their predecessors.
No other warship proclaims America’s commitment to the defense of the nation and its allies, as well as the broader issues of peace and stability, more clearly than the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers of the U.S. Navy. For nearly 40 years, Nimitz -class carriers have played the role of first responder to crises and conflicts. The delivery of the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) less than three years ago proved the early-’60s design of the Nimitz-class carriers has served the nation well and will continue to do so until 2059. The Gerald R. Ford class will begin to succeed Nimitz -class carriers when CVN-78 delivers in 2015. Her mission will remain unchanged, but she will carry it out with greater lethality, survivability, joint interoperability, and at reduced operating and maintenance cost to taxpayers.