The USS Gerald R Ford, the newest and most advanced aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy – and the world’s biggest warship – made its first port of call on Oct. 28 at Halifax, Canada, after its first deployment from Norfolk, Virginia, earlier that month.
The highly advanced 1,092-foot-long behemoth, weighing 97,000 tons when fully loaded, is powered by two nuclear reactors and is the future of the U.S. carrier strike groups. America currently has three more Ford-class carriers on order, and six more are planned to eventually replace the 10 Nimitz-class flattops.
The Ford is the biggest and latest of the U.S. Navy’s capabilities, but it is not the only ship in this roster. The U.S. has estimated 131 other warships in active service, with 62 more on order that are loaded with the latest defensive and offensive technologies for sea, air, amphibious, electromagnetic, and uncrewed naval warfare. (These are the 19 ships and submarines in U.S. naval fleet.)
To find the 11 warships that are the future of the U.S. military, 24/7 Wall Std reviewed the Upcoming U.S. Navy Commissionings, a site authorized by the Navy League of the United States, which supports America’s sea services. Ships are ranked by the number of vessels that are on order in each class. We have included additional information on the type of each vessel and construction location, also from the report. To find how many vessels of each class are currently in the Navy, we referenced the Naval Vessel Registrar.
Advanced warships that are on order but have not yet been delivered include the Columbia-class ballistic missile submarine, a stealthy 560-foot-long submersible armed with 16 Trident nuclear missiles intended to replace the Navy’s 14 aging Ohio-class subs by 2030. General Dynamics Electric Boat began construction of the first Columbia-class sub in June at the company’s shipyard in Groton, Connecticut. A second Columbia-class boat will be procured in fiscal year 2024, according to the Congressional Research Service. (These are the oldest ships and submarines still operating in the U.S. Navy.)
In August, construction began on the first Constellation-class guided missile frigate at the Fincantieri Marinette Marine shipyard in Marinette, Wisconsin, with an expected delivery date of 2026. Three of a planned 20 Constellation frigates are on order. These 496-foot-long agile escort and patrol ships are loaded with the latest sensors, weapons, and machinery systems for anti-submarine, surface, air, and electromagnetic warfare, part of a planned hybrid fleet of 350 crewed and 150 uncrewed ships, according to the U.S. Navy.
The list of America’s latest and most advanced warships includes 70 Arleigh Burke destroyers, fast ships with advanced mine-avoidance and ballistic-missile defense capabilities. A dozen San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ships capable of deploying MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and air-cushioned landing craft, both vital to Marine Corps operations, are also on order. The Navy also ordered three Expeditionary Sea Bases, which, as the name implies, are floating mobile bases for the deployment of forces, equipment, and supplies, similar in design to crude oil tankers.
Here are the warships that are the future of the U.S. military.
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