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CVN-21 Program (formerly CVNX)
class of Supercarriers
Model featured: CVN-78 USS Gerald R. Ford
Aircraft and deck vehicles are included - correct for your circa.
CVN-77 USS George H. W. Bush, the 10th and last Nimitz Class carrier, was the transition ship to the new CVNX class of Supercarriers. CVN-77 incorporates new technologies applicable to CVNX, and differs considerably from earlier Nimitz class ships.
CVNX, now called CVN-21 program (Aircraft Carrier Program for the 21st Century), is the centerpiece of the next generation aircraft carrier fleet. It will be a large-deck, nuclear-powered Supercarrier with a newly designed combat system that eliminates rotating antennas. A new propulsion plant with greater electrical distribution will provide war fighting enhancements and cost reductions. Subsequent carriers will feature additional new technologies including electromagnetic aircraft launch and recovery systems.
Advance construction of CVN-78 USS Gerald R. Ford - the lead ship in the new class - started at Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipbuilding in August 2005 and the keel was laid down in November 2009. The schedule calls for the ship to join the U.S. Navy’s fleet in 2015. Gerald R. Ford is slated to replace the current USS Enterprise, which is planned to deactivate in 2013.
A smaller island set further back and changes to the flight deck are the most visible differences in the Gerald Ford class and are instrumental in the maximization of sortie generation. Several sections have been altered to improve aircraft handling, storage, and flow. The larger elevators can handle 3 aircraft each, and the old "Elevator #3" behind island has been eliminated.
The new A1B reactor plant is a smaller, more efficient design that provides three times the electrical power of the Nimitz-class A4W reactor. This larger power output is a major component to the integrated warfare system and will also permit introduction of electromagnetic aircraft launch and arresting systems with the next ship, CVN-79. Given all known future power requirements, the new class still has reserve available power of 1/3 total capacity to permit the installation for futuristic systems like "dynamic armor"
Another addition to Gerald R. Ford class is an integrated search and tracking radar system using dual-band radar that was developed for the Zumwalt class of guided missile destroyers. The system eliminates the many needed old moving radars and so reduces maintenance cost and island size.
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