NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The Navy has christened its newest aircraft carrier, which will join the fleet in 2016.
The USS Gerald R. Ford is the lead ship in the Navy's next class of aircraft carriers. It was christened Saturday at the Newport News shipyard where it was built.
The Ford class represents the first new aircraft carrier design in more than 40 years. Among other things, it will be able to launch jets faster than previous aircraft carriers and will require fewer crew members. The Navy anticipates that having fewer crew members on board will save $4 billion over the ship's 50-year life span.
Former president Ford's daughter, Susan Bales Bord, is the ship's sponsor. She performed the ceremonial breaking of a bottle of American sparkling wine across the ship's bow Saturday.