The US Navy’s Latest and Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier Departs for its First Operation

(CNN) — The US Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier departed on its first deployment Tuesday from Norfolk, Virginia, designed to put the ship to the test and exercise with allies in North America and Europe.

The USS Gerald Ford is the first new aircraft carrier designed in “more than 40 years,” according to the US Navy. Construction of the carrier formally began in November 2009 and was commissioned in 2017 by former President Donald Trump, according to a statement. US Navy

The US Navy's Latest and Most Advanced Aircraft Carrier Departs for its First Operation

The ship is the first Ford-class aircraft carrier. The Navy has begun construction on the next two Ford-class aircraft carriers, the USS Kennedy and the USS Enterprise.

The carrier has new and advanced technology that includes “nearly three times the amount of electrical power” compared to Nimitz-class carriers and uses the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, according to the Navy.

The EMALS system uses electrical power to launch aircraft from the ship instead of the earlier steam catapult system. The system puts less pressure on the aircraft as it launches from the carrier and will allow less time between launches, a Navy official said.

The ship also has dual-band radar, which is a more advanced radar system. She is the only advanced-class aircraft carrier to have this type of radar, the official said.

The USS Gerald Ford and the carrier strike group will operate with allies and partners in the 2nd and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Mediterranean Sea, a US Navy official said. The deployment will be shorter than a standard six-month deployment, the official added.

“This deployment is an opportunity to push the ball farther out on the field and demonstrate the advantage that Ford and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 bring to the future of naval aviation, to the region, and to our allies and partners,” he said in a statement. statement from the commander of Strike Group 12, Rear Admiral Gregory Huffman.

The deployment will involve “approximately 9,000 personnel from nine nations, 20 ships and 60 aircraft,” a US Navy statement said. Nations participating in the exercise include the US, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, the statement added.

While the USS Gerald Ford deployed Tuesday, the other ships in the carrier strike group will depart to join the Ford on Wednesday, a second Navy official said. This is common for these operations.

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