Three years late and costing $12.9 billion, the USS Gerald R. Ford finally gets commissioned today at Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia. The latest aircraft carrier to join the American fleet has been burdened with—and this may shock you, considering we are talking about defense spending—cost overruns and significant…
Everything about the aircraft carrier is analyzed these days. How vulnerable they are. How vulnerable they aren’t. How easy it is to sink one with a French attack submarine. How big they should be. How small they should be. Should we even have them at all? Yet most of these arguments have lost sight of the fact…
After years of delays and cost overruns, the British Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to begin a series of critical sea trails that will help determine if the billions of pounds it took to build her were really worth it.
I know, I know—these types of maneuvers actually have a purpose besides joyriding, like navigation, stress tests and defense tactics. But that doesn’t stop it from looking like a ton of fun.
When you want to send an international message that can’t be missed, you send an aircraft carrier. When you want to put up a neon sign, you send two. And yesterday, the U.S. Navy did just that, by confirming that the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike groups had joined up off the Korean coast.
Aircraft carriers are massive floating cities, housing over 5,000 people. They have their own nuclear power plants, their own airfields, even their own jails buried in the bowels of the ship. Except in the Navy, they call it a “brig.”
It looks like after almost a decade of development, the ultra-advanced Gerald R. Ford supercarrier will be commissioned this year. An important detail about this ship, the first of its class, is that it does not use steam catapults to launch planes as is traditional, but instead uses an electromagnetic system to fling…
The modern aircraft carrier is a global symbol of American dominance, hegemony, peace, even empire. But at over 1,000 feet long, and displacing more than 100,000 tons, is it a sitting duck? Is the massive emblem of American greatness just an obsolete, vulnerable hunk of steel?
Landing an aircraft on a moving vessel requires a particular kind of precision and know-how that very few human beings can execute with significant technological support. Believe it or not, one psychological test observed that the stress landing on a carrier causes pilots more stress than what troops experience in…
The troubles of Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, are well-documented. The ship is a relic of the Cold War and has long suffered from fires and breakdowns at sea. Now it will undergo a two-and-a-half year upgrade at the Zvezdochka shipyard in Severodvinsk in Northern Russia, a sign of the…
President Donald Trump stood aboard the $13 billion USS Gerald R. Ford on March 2 to boast about his plans to increase military spending. Trump told the audience of sailors that more of them were coming and that they have no peers. One important note he forgot to add is that aircraft carriers, as bold and intimidating…
The Nimitz, deployed in 1975, is the oldest U.S. Navy aircraft carrier in service today. Just keeping a small boat alive in salt water that long takes some work, but when the ship is over 1,000 feet long the scale of maintained projects is just incredible.
The old days of majestic wooden or brass wheels that control the rudder movements of grand ships are long gone. Case in point: the Royal Navy’s new 65,000 ton displacement aircraft carrier’s wheel, which looks more like it belongs in a late 1980’s concept car than on a 9 billion dollar capital ship.
The United States Navy’s been having a lot of problems getting its electromagnetic catapult system, known as EMALS, to work reliably on its new aircraft carriers. But just because things aren’t reliable from the get-go doesn’t mean their testing doesn’t look neat as hell.
Most people have seen videos of carrier flight deck operations before, but usually they’re overlaid with sounds of OONTZ OONTZ and DOOT DOOT and some other heavy metal and/or electronic dance music garbage. That’s because in real life, a carrier flight deck is louder than pretty much anything else.
Reports suggest that the super carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and the guided missile cruiser USS Normandy are moving into position off the coast of Yemen in an attempt to interdict Iranian arms shipments intended to resupply Shiite Houthi rebels in that country.
Perhaps for an F/A-18C, a normal flyby just wouldn't do.
This is the USS Kearsarge. Do you think it has time to stop for a resupply? Hell no, it gets what it needs on the move, and here's how it happens.
So, you want to buy an aircraft carrier. Stateside, there's only one place you can go—Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest dry-dock in the western hemisphere.
What you're looking at is the deck of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan covered in the vehicles of Navy Sailors heading to Naval Base Kitsap in Bremerton, Washington. At a cost of about $4.5 billion this is probably the world's most expensive parking lot.