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This is America's new $13 billion warship

It’s the most expensive in US army history.

THE US NAVY is just months away from adding the most expensive warship in history to its fleet, the $13 billion USS Gerald Ford.

The USS Ford, the lead ship of the new Ford-class aircraft-carrier series, is expected to join the US Navy early this year, according to CNN. Once deployed, the ship will be among the largest carriers ever to ply the seas and will feature a number of changes and advancements over the current Nimitz-class aircraft carrier.

Here’s a look at this multibillion-dollar beast:

The USS Gerald Ford is expected to cost upward of $13 billion by the time it is deployed.

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The Ford, and the Ford-class of aircraft carrier, is intended to relieve stress and over-deployment within the US Navy. Currently, the Navy operates 10 carriers but wants an additional vessel to take pressure off of the rest of the fleet.

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The ship will feature a host of changes over the Nimitz-class carrier. Ford-class carriers will be capable of generating three times more electrical power than the older carrier classes, for example. 

PastedImage-1438 A 3D model of the USS John F. Kennedy, the second ship the Ford-class carrier series.

This increased power supply allows the Ford to run more cutting-edge hardware. The newly designed Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) will allow the vessel to launch 25% more aircraft a day than the previous steam-powered launch systems.

GIF2 Source: YouTube

The amount of electricity onboard also makes Ford-class carriers ideal candidates to field laser and directed-energy weapons in the future, like rail guns and missile interceptors.

PastedImage-61387 A demonstration of a rail gun.

Once launched, the Ford will be among the largest warships in the world. It will be 1,092 feet long and displace upward of 100,000 tons. 

PastedImage-41931 Newport News Shipbuilding floods Dry Dock 12 to float the first-in-class aircraft carrier, Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford

This size will allow the carrier to house about 4,400 staff and personnel while carrying more than 75 aircraft. 

PastedImage-42602 The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) gets underway, beginning the ship’s launch and transit to Newport News Shipyard pier 3 for the final stages of construction and testing.

The Ford is expected to carry F-35s and, and carrier-based drone aircraft once they become available. 

PastedImage-95616 The USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier. Source: Wikimedia Commons

But for all the advances within the Ford-class carrier group, some have questioned the wisdom of continuing an astronomically expensive carrier-heavy naval strategy in a time when interstate warfare is rare and nations like China are working on potentially carrier-killing long-range antiship cruise missiles

More: American soldiers ‘told to ignore’ sexual abuse of boys by Afghan allies

Read: The US weapons maker behind the ‘gun that won the west’ is going bankrupt

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Business Insider
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