WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- The first ship of a new class of aircraft carrier is being christened Saturday by the U.S. Navy at the Huntington Ingalls Industries' Newport News shipyard.
The Gerald R. Ford, designated by the Navy as CVN 78, is more than 1,000 feet long, has a water-line beam of 134 feet, displaces 112,000 tons and has a speed of more than 30 knots. It can carry more than 75 aircraft.
"The christening of USS Gerald R. Ford marks an important milestone in both the life of this ship and the development of our future fleet; a fleet built on the innovation that makes our Navy and Marine Corps team the finest expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known," said Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.
Gerald R. Ford carriers, the first new aircraft carrier design in more than 40 years, will replace Nimitz-class aircraft carriers. They feature a new electromagnetic aircraft launching system, advanced arresting gear, dual band radar, and all electric auxiliaries.
Huntington-Ingalls Newport News shipyard is located in Newport News, Va.