Ship Photos of The Day – Gerald R. Ford Launch

Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) breaks the threshold of Newport News Shipyard Dry Dock 12 into the James River during the ship’s launch and transit to Pier 3. U.S. Navy Photo
Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) breaks the threshold of Newport News Shipyard Dry Dock 12 into the James River during the ship’s launch and transit to Pier 3. U.S. Navy Photo

On Sunday, November 17, 2013, the first-of-class aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy, Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), was launched into the the James River for the first time to be moved to Newport News Shipbuilding’s Pier 3, where it will undergo additional outfitting and testing for the next 28 months.

U.S. Navy Photo
U.S. Navy Photo
Image courtesy Huntington Ingalls via Facebook
Image courtesy Huntington Ingalls via Facebook

Gerald R. Ford has been under construction in Dry Dock 12 since November 2009 and was moved about one mile south to the shipyard’s Pier 3 with the assistance of six tugboats. The ship will be moored at Pier 3 to complete outfitting and testing. Habitability spaces, such as berthing and mess areas, will be completed, and distributive, mechanical and combat systems, such as catapults and radar arrays, will be tested. The ship is scheduled for delivery to the U.S. Navy in 2016.

SEE ALSO: Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) – Keel Laying to Christening in Four Minutes

U.S. Navy Photo
U.S. Navy Photo
Photo by Chris Oxley
Photo by Chris Oxley

“The ship’s launch is always significant for her shipbuilders,” said NNS Rolf Bartschi, NNS’ vice president of CVN 78 carrier construction, “but I think it’s an extra special experience this time because of Ford’s unique qualities as the first ship of the class, and thanks to the close relationship shipbuilders have developed with CVN 78’s sponsor, Susan Ford Bales. This milestone provides an opportunity for the shipbuilding team to reflect on all of the hard work that has been accomplished to ready the ship for launch, and I could not be more proud of our shipbuilding team.”

Thousands of shipbuilders, sailors and Ford family and friends gathered Nov. 9 for the christening of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Photo by Ricky Thompson
Thousands of shipbuilders, sailors and Ford family and friends gathered Nov. 9 for the christening of nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Photo by Ricky Thompson

Interestingly, the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is now docked next to the USS Enterprise (CVN 65), which USS Gerald R. Ford will replace in the U.S. Navy fleet. Now that’s a picture we’d love to see!

The first nuclear-powere aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), made her final voyage to Newport News Shipbuilding in June 2013, where it will be the first to undergo inactivation. Photo by John Whalen
The first nuclear-powere aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), made her final voyage to Newport News Shipbuilding in June 2013, where it will be the first to undergo inactivation. Photo by John Whalen