“We can move more weapons in a safer way, a faster way to a flight deck that is larger and more flexible. And that all contributes to the kind of agility, lethality, and flexibility the Ford brings to the fight,” Rear Adm. Clapperton, Commander Strike Group 12, said of CVN 78.
Discussing how CVN 78 can go from its highest speed to an emergency stop within the length of four ships, Capt. J.J. Cummings, Commanding Officer said “For a 90,000-ton ship, that’s pretty amazing. And that’s a direct result of the automatic throttles downstairs – makes this thing very responsive to speed, and then stopping power is an automatic feature of those throttles.”
“Recent underway periods have provided my staff and my warfare commanders a greater understanding of how Ford and Nimitz-classes are similar and how they are different, but this underway will enable us to learn how we will fight the Ford-class,” noted Rear Admiral Craig Clapperton, commander, CSG-12.
As Rear Admiral Meier put it: “It is not difficult to see the air wing of the future operating off of this deck with much greater speed, agility and reach than the legacy air wing.”
While the Navy’s newest class of super-carrier has the same overall footprint as the predecessor class, its use of space is different: The Ford’s “island,” which houses its command center, is set 140 feet further aft and has been slightly redesigned. It creates a more substantial stretch of aircraft flight line at the fore, with five usable acres compared with the Nimitz’s four and a half.