The 21st Century Carrier

Designed to Meet the Needs of a 21st Century Navy

The Ford class is the first new design for a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier since Nimitz (CVN 68). During the design process, the shipbuilders found hidden value in every square inch of the ship, saving the Navy a projected $4 billion in ownership costs over the ship’s 50-year lifespan. The ship will be equipped with two newly-designed reactors and has 250 percent more electrical capacity than previous carriers. The improvements will allow the ship to load weapons and launch aircraft faster than ever before.

Infographics: The 21st Century Aircraft Carrier

View the Full Infographic

New Island

Ford‘s island, the flight command center for the ship, is completely redesigned. It incorporates the latest technology in flat panel array radar systems and dual band radar.

The island is shorter in length, but stands 20 feet taller than previous aircraft carriers’ islands. It is positioned 140 feet further aft and three feet further outboard than its predecessors.

More Flight Deck

The flight deck of CVN 78 has been completely redesigned and rearranged. The end result is a projected 25 percent increase in the ability to launch and recover aircraft missions. In order to accomplish this, the carrier has three aircraft elevators instead of four, and the island is positioned 140 feet further aft

3D Product Model

Newport News Shipbuilding used a full-scale three-dimensional product model to design and plan the construction of the Ford-class of aircraft carriers. The significant investment allows visual integration in design, engineering, planning and construction.

CVN 78 is the first U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to be designed in a full-scale 3D product model.