Meet the US Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford is the first in the US Navy’s next generation of warships.

USS Gerald R. Ford was officially commissioned on July 22.  Rooted in naval tradition, a commissioning is an elaborate ceremony that puts a ship in active service.

The Gerald R. Ford was launched from dry dock into Virginia’s James River in November 2013 to begin its trials.

Despite being officially commissioned, the Ford will require another four years of trials before deployment in 2021.

The finished carrier measures 1,106 feet long and 250 feet high.