The crest of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier.
The Navy will spend $43 billion developing and building the three Ford-class carriers that Congress has authorized thus far. The carrier was delivered to the Navy in May by Huntington Ingalls Industries - its craftsmanship deemed America at its best by the president. During his speech, Trump called on Congress to pass his $1 trillion budget outline that includes a $54 billion increase in defense spending next year.
CVN 78 honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the USA government and to the nation.
Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion.
The vessel completed sea trials in April but will go through a battery of tests and workups at Sea.
The USS Ford is named after the country's 38th president, a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. Ford served for 25 years as a U.S. Representative before his appointment to the vice presidency.
Trump visited the $12.9 billion nuclear-powered carrier in Newport News, Virginia, to cap off the White House's "Made in America" week, a series of events created to highlight the administration's push to increase domestic manufacturing. "God bless this ship and all who serve it", said trump. He served aboard the aircraft carrier USS Monterey and participated in actions in the Pacific Theater, including at Makin Island, Kwajalein and the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
In an interview with CBS, former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus presented a blunt critique: "The Ford is a poster child for how you don't build a ship", Mabus said.
Learn more about the naval service and life of Gerald Ford here: https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/people/presidents/ford.html.
At the time, the Ford was already two years behind schedule and the memo's release came just days before the Navy announced the carrier would not be ready before November 2016 as was previously promised.
The Navy says the carrier will be operational by 2020.
The Gerald R. Ford class incorporates advances in technology such as a new reactor plant, propulsion system, electric plant, Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), machinery control, Dual Band Radar and integrated warfare systems.
The vessel was built at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.