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Thread: CVN-78 Gerald W Ford

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    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    CVN-78 Gerald W Ford

    As her construction is coming along, and it is to become the new standard of what an Aircraft Carrier aspires to be, I find it appropriate to start this thread to monitor the construction and trials of the pre-commissioning unit Gerald Ford as she readies to join the fleet.

    This first post includes a link that illustrates the order of in which she is being assembled.

    http://nns.huntingtoningalls.com/emp...b/watch/ford3D

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    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Few questions:

    Is this Ford class really something new, or is it more of a Nimitz 2.0 (with longer deck and newer gadgets)?

    Is it usual to "wait" ~2 years from finishing the ship (mid 2013) to commissioning it (2015)?

    Has the contracted price changed with time?

    Any bets on will it surpass Nimitz class in numbers?*


    *Allowed only for wabbers under 30 y/o in order to have any chance for collecting
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    I've cherry-picked several sources (especially NNS) and re-worded/re-arranged some things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Is this Ford class really something new, or is it more of a Nimitz 2.0 (with longer deck and newer gadgets)?
    The Ford-class is most definitely something brand new.
    Her overall layout won't differ from the Nimitz all that much because it simply works. There'll still be 4 catapults, an angled-deck etc.

    However this is the first totally new new aircraft carrier design in 40 years - Consider what has changed and been learned in overall technology period, let alone 4 decades of supercarrier operations.

    The most important improvement is obviously the 25% increase in sortie generation rate, a carrier's reason for being.

    New reactor/propulsion plant design:An all-electric ship. 150% greater electrical generation capacity over the Nimitz-class. The reactor will never need to refueled.

    Island: The island is smaller and moved farther aft than on Nimitz class so there is more area for airplane maintenance and flight deck operations will be faster and safer due to better space utilization

    Weapons Elevator: Elevators use moving electromagnetic fields instead of cabling, which allows elevator shaft to use horizontal doors to close off magazines. This reduces manning and maintenance costs.

    Flexible Infrastructure: Flexible infrastructure architecture that allows spaces to be adaptable to rapid changes without the use of “hot work.” The lower decks incorporate a flexible rapidly reconfigurable layout allowing different layouts and installation of new equipment in command, planning and administration areas. Eliminates cost and schedule impacts associated with the traditional conflicts from re-work. Manpower reduction of between 500-800 billets - Consider that even the newest sailor costs the Navy $100,000 per year to feed, cloth, house, train and pay (including healthcare)

    Advanced Arresting Gear: Recovers current and future aircraft, is lighter than the legacy system, software controls, reduce manning.

    Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) - Replaces steam catapult. Uses electrically generated, moving magnetic field to propel aircraft to launch speed. Vastly more safe and efficient than steam cats.

    Cargo Elevators: Cargo elevators will replace cargo conveyers allowing faster transport of palletized materials while eliminating the wasted time of unloading pallets and moving cans vice pallets of materials throughout the ship. Elevators are located so material is delivered directly to point of use locations like the Galley from the storage areas so cross ship transport is eliminated.

    Fewer overall components: A third to a half as many valves, elimination of 70 sea chests, three vs. four aircraft elevators, one vs. two hangar bays.

    Extended drydocking interval: the Ford-class is designed for 12 year intervals

    Improved shipwide air conditioning: Provides lower moisture and dirt levels

    LED Battle Lanterns: The LED light source will be life of ship and the lower power demand will greatly extend lanterns run time per battery. In the Nimitz class, the current bulb has a 100-hour life.

    Electric Water Heaters: Moving away from steam heating for hot potable water will lower the maintenance load and will reduce ships weight by eliminating a piping network that covered the entire ship.

    Better shipboard lighting: High efficiency fluorescent T-8 lighting will be utilized throughout Ford-class ships. The T-8 light produces more light than the legacy T-12 with reduced energy consumption -- each bulb will last almost twice as long as the previous lighting system.
    Last edited by TopHatter; 13 May 12, at 04:27.

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    more power generation combined with less power requirements spells DEWS in my book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    more power generation combined with less power requirements spells DEWS in my book.

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    Hollywood Showers ???

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I've cherry-picked several sources (especially NNS) and re-worded/re-arranged some things.



    The Ford-class is most definitely something brand new.......

    Electric Water Heaters: Moving away from steam heating for hot potable water will lower the maintenance load and will reduce ships weight by eliminating a piping network that covered the entire ship.

    .

    Tophatter.....

    So we can count on Hollywood showers will being the standard on this new class of flattop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    Tophatter.....

    So we can count on Hollywood showers will being the standard on this new class of flattop?
    Still gotta distill that seawater into fresh water

    Interesting question though...I wonder if the distillers will be of a much more efficient type.
    Certainly having several hundred less sailors can't hurt one bit.

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Her reactor will be about 40 years newer in design, and the extra electrical power will be designed in and not added on. With reactors, larger is much more efficient, this will also save fuel in the long term, letting the reactor run at lower power levels. Her computers will be much better and designed in, the Nimitz's may have been upgraded, but their computers are added to the design, not planned from the ground up. I heard somewhere they would have 4 person staterooms for the sailors, each with a shower and head.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    DEWS Directed Energy Weapons Systems ie megawatt class lasers for anti-missile defenses. Combine high energy lasers with modern phased array radar abilities to literally pinpoint huge amounts of power on to seeker heads and you have a powerful electronic shield around the ship. Gives the ships radar the same kind of LPI and frequency agility modern fighter radars have and you also give the ship a level of stealth no ship has enjoyed since the first radio intercept in WWI.

    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a435558.pdf
    Triple C likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    DEWS Directed Energy Weapons Systems ie megawatt class lasers for anti-missile defenses.
    Oh yes definitely, refitting energy weapons has been a much-touted benefit of the massive electrical generation of the Fords.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Oh yes definitely, refitting energy weapons has been a much-touted benefit of the massive electrical generation of the Fords.
    Yup, speed of light weapons, if the sensors can see it, as long as the "bore sight' between sensor and weapon is on and able to track you can't miss. Combine lasers with a radar system that can blind and jam.... heading into a whole new era of naval warfare.

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    Think Solar.....

    Quote Originally Posted by USSWisconsin View Post
    Her reactor will be about 40 years newer in design, and the extra electrical power will be designed in and not added on. With reactors, larger is much more efficient, this will also save fuel in the long term, letting the reactor run at lower power levels. Her computers will be much better and designed in, the Nimitz's may have been upgraded, but their computers are added to the design, not planned from the ground up. I heard somewhere they would have 4 person staterooms for the sailors, each with a shower and head.
    If this ship can be cutting edge, then bring on the passive solar panels built into the flight deck. No sense letting all that real estate go only to trapping birds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blidgepump View Post
    If this ship can be cutting edge, then bring on the passive solar panels built into the flight deck. No sense letting all that real estate go only to trapping birds.
    Nahh, use adaptive thermal tiles to give the ship the thermal image of panamax, supermax, cruise ship, ro-ro or other large but harmless vessel to nosy satellites. Just think with LPI phased array radar and thermal camouflage she could sneak right up to a hostile coast, say off the east coast of Taiwan during a crisis...

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    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Perhaps they could design a ship with both, using CCD technology - but I imagine it would very expen$ive.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    DEWS Directed Energy Weapons Systems ie megawatt class lasers for anti-missile defenses. Combine high energy lasers with modern phased array radar abilities to literally pinpoint huge amounts of power on to seeker heads and you have a powerful electronic shield around the ship. Gives the ships radar the same kind of LPI and frequency agility modern fighter radars have and you also give the ship a level of stealth no ship has enjoyed since the first radio intercept in WWI.

    http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a435558.pdf
    Not a great idea shooting off lasers in the middle of a battle group. Friendly fire would be a bitch. 20mm and 30mm have a self destruct range. Lasers don't.

    2 years ago they test fired a shipboard laser R2D2. Shot down 2 drones from a anchored ship, on a sunny day with low humidity.


    Raytheon admits there are serious problems with reliability (Burn through strength) in bad weather. Just like any laser system. Doesn't work good in smoke, fog, rain. Also no ability to Knock down high speed incoming missiles. You can urn holes in them but they and the large fragments will continue towards the target.

    CBGs don't like to emit a "Powerful Energy Shield" around themselves. It attracts attention. With good EmCon, we routinely hid Carrier battle Groups off the coast of Norway during the Cold War. With real live bad guys trying to find us.
    Triple C likes this.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

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