The United States will have spent no less than 13 billion dollars for this boat.

The US Navy deployed its first next-generation aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald Ford, on Tuesday.

With a length of 335 meters, this nuclear-powered ship left its home port of Norfolk on the east coast at midday, escorted by its carrier battle group, for several weeks of maneuvers with the navies of nine allied countries. , including France.

The John Kennedy currently under construction

Multinational exercises in the Atlantic will focus on anti-aircraft defense, anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasures and amphibious operations.

They will involve 9,000 people, 20 warships and 60 planes, the US Navy said without specifying the numbers of each country.

The Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers are to replace the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, which are nearing the end of their 50-year scheduled service.

The John Kennedy, on the same model, is currently under construction.

two years late

Inaugurated in 2017 by Donald Trump, after a delivery delay of two years, this 11th aircraft carrier in the American fleet has since undergone multiple tests, problems having been detected on its electromagnetic catapult system.

Developed for the US Navy by General Atomics, the system no longer uses the traditional hydraulic system to catapult the planes, but an induction motor which creates less friction with the metal of the planes and therefore allows them greater longevity.

It should make it possible to increase the number of take-offs by 25% each day.

In addition, the ship's configuration and its power generation are designed to allow it to adapt to new armaments, such as directed energy weapons, during its 50 years of service, noted the US Navy in reference to new types of weapons such as electromagnetic radiation, laser weapons or microwave weapons.

A speed of 54 km/h

The ship, which requires a reduced crew compared to Nimitz aircraft carriers, can weigh more than 100,000 tons fully loaded, while reaching a speed of 54 km / h.

It is equipped with giant elevators to bring missiles and bombs up to the deck to be loaded onto planes, but these elevators have proven to be faulty.

Additionally, the U.S. Navy "continues to have issues with the reliability of its electromagnetic launch system and advanced tethering system," which allows aircraft to stop on landing, a GAO report said ( Government Accountability Office), the American equivalent of the French Cour des comptes.

The US Navy "intends to achieve its reliability objectives in the 2030s", underlines the GAO.

This first deployment will therefore only last a few weeks, as the aircraft carrier is not yet ready to fight.

It will be placed under the authority of a military command next year.


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