The US Navy’s newest supercarrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, is underway with all of its available airpower for the first time. The ship is underway for a composite training unit exercise known as COMPTUEX. The exercise “assesses a carrier strike group’s abilities to conduct military operations at sea and project power ashore through joint planning and execution of challenging and realistic training scenarios.
The first-in-class Ford is the Navy’s most advanced aircraft carrier and has a price tag of around $13 billion. The ship, which was launched in 2013, commissioned in 2017 and first deployed in 2022, has suffered delays and setbacks, and other issues like cost overruns. It has a litany of new technologies, including advanced elevators that can move missiles and bombs to the flight deck and electromagnetic catapults that are supposed to be capable of launching planes more effectively than the steam catapults on the Nimitz-class carriers.
The Ford Carrier Strike Group is expected to deploy on its first full-length deployment sometime later this year.