November 20, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) - The Navy's newest aircraft carrier has reached another milestone.
Huntington Ingalls Industries says the USS Gerald R. Ford was launched into the James River for the first time over the weekend.
The ship was moved about a mile to Newport News Shipbuilding's Pier 3 with the assistance of six tugboats. It will undergo additional outfitting and testing there for the next 28 months.
Construction of the Ford began in November 2009.
The Ford is the lead ship in a new class of carriers. It features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement and an enhanced flight deck.
The Ford will replace the USS Enterprise, which was inactivated last year. The ship is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in 2016.