November 9 at the shipyard Newport News Shipbuilding (Newport News, Va.) will hold a ceremony launching a new South American aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Construction of the lead ship of the same name type began in 2009 and will soon be joining the stage ends. Enter aircraft carrier into service of the U.S. Navy is scheduled for 2016. In the upcoming Pentagon plans to build two more ships of this type.
USS «Gerald R. Ford» is one of the most important American military projects shortly. Similar attitude to the ship first justified by the fact that for the first time since the 60s has made South American shipbuilding and so produces a large project. Are at the present time as part of the Navy aircraft carrier Nimitz type constructed in accordance with the project developed in the 60s. Since then, the project has not once been crafted before the construction or modernization of vessels, but did not undergo significant changes. Class ships Gerald R. Ford, the first of which will soon be launched, built on a brand new project, made in accordance with the requirements of today’s Navy.
One of the most exciting features of the new approach of the project is to equip ships to different equipment. Thus, by its dimensions and displacement carrier «Gerald R. Ford» does not differ from predecessors such as «Nimitz». Ship with a full displacement of about 100 tons has a length of 330 meters and above the highest flight deck width of 78 m With all this internal equipment, avionics, weapons, etc. new carrier can be considered a huge step forward. It is argued that the use of a number of new systems will allow to significantly reduce the crew, but for all this to raise the intensity of combat wing of at least 30%. Consequence of the latter will be to increase the combat effectiveness of the ship.
More properties of the new aircraft carrier the highest in comparison with the currently exploited justified using 2-nuclear reactors A1B, specially designed for aircraft carriers of the new project. As needed such power plant can produce power by 25% superior high power reactors, aircraft carrier «Nimitz». With all of this labor-intensive service reactors lowered twice. Power plant with 2 reactors A1B is the first such system type that does not require a reboot of fuel during service. New reactors are designed in such makarom that nuclear fuel will be enough for all 50 years, during which will serve as a carrier. Due to this, apart from other things, increases the operational safety of ships, as all radioactive materials since loading and debiting to carrier will be in the sealed volume.
Introduction of a stronger power plant allowed to equip the aircraft carrier «Gerald R. Ford» electric catapults EMALS. With the new aircraft carrier catapults be able to provide normal intensity aviation at 160 sorties a day. For comparison, modern aircraft carriers Nimitz type can only provide 120 flights a day. As required promising carrier fails to raise the intensity of flights to 220 flights a day.
The main element of the complex electronic funds Gerald R. Ford ship radar system will be DRB. It includes the functional radar and radar Raytheon AN/SPY-3 major review Lockheed Martin VSR. A similar electronic equipment meant to install on new destroyers project Zumwalt. The implication is that VSR radar will be used to monitor the traffic situation and target aircraft or ships. Second radar, AN/APY-3, is intended not only to review or target tracking, and management by certain types of weapons.
When designing a new aircraft carrier into account the experience gained in the operation of the past. In this regard, a modified assembly hangar deck. For example, an aircraft carrier, «Gerald R. Ford» has a two-section hangar deck. To lift the aircraft to the flight deck ship received three elevator instead of 4, as applied on aircraft carriers preceding type.
According to official figures, the new carrier will be able to provide transport and combat work more than 75 aircraft of several types. Initially, the main striking force of the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford aircraft will F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Over time, join them, and then will change, the new F-35C. The composition of distant aircraft radar detection, electronic warfare, and helicopters for various purposes will remain unchanged. In addition, it is intended to position on the new aircraft carrier drones several types. In the distant future, a similar technique can oust manned aircraft and helicopters.
For air and missile defense ship aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford will equip anti-aircraft missile complexes RIM-116 RAM and RIM-162 ESSM. Such weapons will allow the ship to intercept unsafe targets at ranges up to 50 km. In addition, to protect against threats in the near field to the carrier will install several anti-aircraft artillery systems.
Who collected all the major construction of a new aircraft carrier and will soon begin ending step construction and equipment. After entering the ship in operation, planned for 2016, the U.S. Navy aircraft carriers will again 11. In 2012, after writing off the aircraft carrier Enterprise (CVN-65), the number of ships of this class was reduced to 10. In the upcoming planned to translate the structure of an aircraft carrier fleet on constant introduction of 10 ships.
In September, the U.S. Congressional Research Service has published new data on the monetary side to build aircraft carriers. According to the service, Gerald R. Ford construction cost budget of 12.8 billion dollars (at current prices). With all this construction financing was quite completed back in 2011 and since that time no funds have not been allocated a new ship. To compensate for the increase in the price of the individual components and works in 2014 and 2015 money has been made to allocate an additional 1.3 billion
In the near term, the U.S. Navy will position the order to build a second aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford type, which will be named «John F. Kennedy.» Bookmark the second ship is scheduled for next year. During 2014-2018 years meant had spent on the construction of approximately 11.3 billion dollars, 944 million of which will be allocated in the first year of construction. In 2018 meant to sign the contract in accordance with the shipbuilding industry which will build a third aircraft carrier of the same type (there is information on its title — Enterprise). The price of this ship in fiscal year 2014 price is estimated at 13.9 billion
In the Pentagon’s plans for the coming 10 years is considered to build only 3 new type of aircraft carriers. The life of these ships will be 50 years. What projects will the South American shipbuilding after 2023, when it is planned into the water Enterprise, is still unclear. By then it may be updated existing project or start work on a new. Either way, over the next 10-12 years, the naval forces of the United States will have three new aircraft carriers, which by its characteristics superior to currently used ships.
As though any other expensive and fundamental design and construction of new aircraft carriers under harsh criticism. In light of recent reductions in the military budget is so expensive construction of ships looks at least versatile. For example, a retired U.S. Navy officer G. Hendricks, who alternate the enemy of modern aircraft carriers, often leads the subsequent reason against the newest ships. The last of the Nimitz aircraft carriers of the treasury cost around seven billion dollars. Head «Gerald R. Ford» ultimately will cost almost twice as much. With all this usual intensity of flights provided by the electric catapult will be only 160 sorties a day against 120 at the «Nimitz». In other words, the new aircraft carrier twice as expensive as an old, but increase the combat effectiveness, reflected in the number of sorties probable, is only 30%. It should be noted that the critical load on the electrical Gerald R. Ford can provide 220 sorties a day, and it is not possible to achieve a proportionate increase combat effectiveness.
Project developers of new aircraft often mentioned that the operation of these vehicles will cost less than the existing implementation. Yet, saving on operating far not immediately be able to affect the financial part of the project. The main reason for this — twice the cost of building large ships. In addition, do not forget that carriers work as part of carrier strike groups (CSGs), which also includes other classes of ships. At the beginning of 2013 the exploitation of one AUG costs about 6.5 million dollars per day. So Makar, saving on operating aircraft carriers may not have any significant impact on the overall cash characteristics corresponding compounds of the U.S. Navy.
Another problem is money temper aviation group. During the first years of the foundation of new combat aircraft carriers will be fighter-bombers F/A-18E/F. In coming to replace them come new F-35C. Corresponding adverse feature of both versions is the actual price of the air group sorties. According to calculations by G. Hendrix, all up-cycle aircraft F/A-18, including the cost of building and training of pilots, military department manages about 120 million dollars. Over the past 10 years the U.S. Navy carrier-based aircraft, participating in various conflicts, used about 16 thousand bombs and missiles of various types. So Makar, the average number of munitions used by each of the F/A-18 aircraft operated for 10 years equals 16 units. Prices of current cycle machines that each flush bomb or rocket launch cost the taxpayers 7.5 million dollars. Price of construction and operation of new carrier-based aircraft F-35C will be much higher these characteristics of modern technology. In this regard, the average price of the 1st bomb can reset Strength at times.
So makarom already presently can confidently state that one of the most fundamental American projects will shortly also one of the most expensive. In this case there is reason to vary that applied measures aimed at saving the expense of a number of new systems, etc., will allow tangible impact on overall economic characteristics of the project. Yet, the construction of new aircraft carriers — albeit very expensive — will allow the U.S. Navy to raise its own military capability and the ability to execute combat missions over the next 50 years.