Naval History and Heritage Command

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Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78)

Starboard view of the Roosevelt at dock
Caption: An artist’s concept of how the ship will look as she makes a high speed turn.

(CVN-78: displacement more than 90,000; length 1,092'; beam 256'; draft 39'; speed 30 knots; complement 4,297; armament RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM), RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), and Phalanx Close-in Weapon System (CIWS); aircraft 75+; class Gerald R. Ford)

Ships seal
Caption: Ship's seal.

Gerald R. Ford Jr., the 38th President of the United States. For additional information on the President’s life and his naval service during World War II, please see: Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr.


Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was laid down on 14 November 2009 at Newport News, Va., by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding; christened on 9 November 2013; sponsored by Mrs. Susan E. Ford Bales, daughter of President Gerald R. Ford, Jr.; and is scheduled to commission in 2016, Capt. John F. Meier in command.

The ship's crest incorporates symbols reminiscent of President Ford's life and legacy. A fleur-de-lis on the compass points north and symbolizes his rank of Eagle Scout. Thirty-eight stars surround the emblem to represent his tenure as the 38th President. Twenty six stars are a different color to note his service on board small aircraft carrier Monterey (CVL-26) during World War II. The crest's colors include blue and maize for his undergraduate alma mater, the University of Michigan, and blue and white from his time at Yale law school. Gerald R. Ford includes the new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and is slated to replace aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN-65) in the fleet. On 15 May 2015, the Navy announced that it had conducted the first shipboard, full-speed catapult shots using EMALS during trials on board the ship.

"This is a very exciting time for the Navy," Rear Adm. Thomas J. Moore, Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, explained. "For the first time in over 60 years, we've just conducted 22 no load test shots using electricity instead of steam technology."

Detailed history under construction.

Mark L. Evans

20 May 2015

Published:Mon Jul 13 09:46:30 EDT 2015