Erik Hildebrandt / Public Domain
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the first ship in the newer Ford-class of carriers. It was launched in 2013, commissioned in 2017, and we should get to see it deploy around 2020.
It’s the largest aircraft carrier in the world. But it’s not just its size that makes it exciting. Among the improvements over the Nimitz-class nuclear-powered carriers are:
The ship recently spent some time testing its weapons with live-fire off the coast of California with Raytheon’s SSDS (Ship Self Defense System) Integrated Combat System. The test, which was a first of its kind, enabled seamless integration between sensors and missiles.
An unmanned drone target was successfully taken down.
Though the test in the video below isn’t the same test that took out the drone, it’s a pretty impressive first look. It’s a Close-In Weapons System (CIWS) structural test fire and wow, those things sure pop off!
The CIWS is a radar-guided, rapid-fire 20 mm rotating machine gun intended for anti-ship missiles. It can deliver 75 rounds per second.