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Navy christens world's most expensive warship, the Gerald R. Ford

Nov. 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- The Navy said it has christened the most expensive warship ever built, the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, in a Virginia shipyard.

The carrier is 25 stories high, stretches three football fields long and will cost $13 to $14 billion, which is $2 billion over budget, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported.

Two years of work still remain on the carrier, but Susan Ford Bales, the daughter of the former president, led the christening Saturday.

Secret service agents from Ford's presidency, Donald Rumsfeld, Ford's secretary of defense, Dick Cheney, his chief of staff, and Henry Kissinger, his secretary of state, also attended the christening.

The ship is expected to last for 50 years and is the first of the new Ford class of carriers.

The ship has two nuclear reactors, which take up less space but provide more power. The flight deck is also rearranged and has a smaller control tower.

Computers on board will also network with returning aircraft to communicate on refueling and rearmament needs, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Many of the upgrades still need testing, but the ship is expected to be ready in 2016.

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