USS Gerald R. Ford

This topic of “USS Gerald R. Ford” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

US Support for Israel: Carrier Strike Group Deployment

Recent news has highlighted the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford and its associated strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean in support of Israel. This deployment was triggered by an attack on Israel by the Hamas group, resulting in casualties on both sides, with over 1,000 dead.


To bolster the USS Gerald R. Ford’s capabilities, additional naval and air assets have been deployed to the region:

Naval Assets
  • USS Normandy (cruiser)
  • Destroyers:
    • USS Thomas Hudner
    • USS Ramage
    • USS Carney
    • USS Roosevelt
Air Assets
  • Augmented Air Force with:
    • F-35 fighter aircraft
    • F-15 fighter aircraft
    • F-16 fighter aircraft
    • A-10 fighter aircraft


USS Gerald R. Ford: An Overview

The USS Gerald R. Ford is an aircraft carrier, serving as the lead ship of the Ford-class carriers and marking the phased replacement of the Nimitz-class carriers. It boasts an impressive crew and equipment, unique features, and notable physical specifications:

  • Crew and Equipment: It is manned by 5,000 sailors and features a warplane deck accompanied by cruisers and destroyers.
  • Unique Features:
    • Nuclear plant for propulsion.
    • Advanced arresting gear.
    • EMALS (Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System) replacing traditional steam catapults, allowing for expanded aircraft launch capabilities, including manned and unmanned aircraft operations.
  • Physical Specs:
    • Length: 1,106 ft
    • Height: 134 ft
  • Armament:
    • ESSM (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile)
    • RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile)
    • CIWS (Close-In Weapon System)
  • Power:
    • Powered by two nuclear reactors.
    • Four shafts.
    • Top speed of over 30 knots.
  • Displacement:
    • 100,000 tons at full load, making it the world’s largest aircraft carrier.


The USS Gerald R. Ford holds immense significance as the Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced aircraft carrier, showcasing cutting-edge capabilities and serving as a symbol of American military strength.


Named After Gerald Ford

The USS Gerald R. Ford is named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, in honor of his contributions to the nation.


Homeport: Norfolk, Virginia

The USS Gerald R. Ford is based in Norfolk, Virginia, serving as its homeport.


Construction Timeline

The carrier’s construction timeline is as follows:

  • Keel laid: November 2009
  • Commissioned: July 22, 2017


Carrier Strike Group

A Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is a vital naval formation, typically led by an aircraft carrier, consisting of surface and subsurface ships. It serves various military and strategic purposes, including operations for national interests.

Typical Composition

A typical CSG composition includes:

  • One nuclear-powered ‘supercarrier.’
  • Two guided-missile cruisers.
  • Two anti-aircraft destroyers.
  • One frigate.
  • Two submarines.
  • One supply ship.

US Aircraft Carriers

The United States possesses a formidable fleet of aircraft carriers, characterized by their large-deck and nuclear-powered design.

Fleet Count

  • The US Navy operates 11 large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

Global Comparison

When compared to other nations, the United States maintains a significant advantage in terms of aircraft carrier capability. For example, India operates aircraft carriers like INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant, but the US fleet is more extensive and technologically advanced.

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