Tag Archives: Modern

The USS Gerald R Ford CVN-78

The USS Gerald R Ford CVN-78


Or at least a model right now.

The USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) is the first in a new class of supercarriers that will project American power to all corners of the globe. Construction began in November 2009 and she was launched for trials in October 2013. On May 31st, 2017 she was put officially in service.

The actual carrier itself is fairly impressive displacing approximately 100,000 tons and having a length of about 1,106 feet. Her 25 decks put her height at about 250 feet she can carry over 75 aircraft. More than enough to lay a major smackdown. The two nuclear reactors that power the ship give her a top speed of about 30 knots (35mph). They also allow for an unlimited service range.

The ship was named after President Gerald R Ford, a veteran of WWII. In 2007 a defense spending bill first proposed the name for the unbuilt carrier.  A few weeks before his death Ford was told of the final decision to name the ship after him. This makes him one of the few with a US Navy ship named after him while still alive.

New Technology

Being the newest ship to the fleet and the first of its line the ship carries a number of technological improvements. A new multi-function radar increases its field of vision, and several structural changes give the ship a lower profile and more carrying capacity while allowing for a smaller crew. The biggest advancement is the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) which replaced the tradition steam catapults. The Ford can handle up to 25% more aircraft launches per day that the previous family of carriers.

All in all the Ford is a great addition to the fleet and with an expected life of 50 years, she will be around for quite a while.


M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun System

The M26 is a shotgun accessory for the M16 or M4 rifle. Yep, this little baby can attach to the underbelly of M16 or M4 and provides soldiers with increased capabilities. The shotgun can be used with solid rounds to blow locks off of doors, buckshot and slugs for anti-personal applications and can even fire tear gas canisters. Best yet with the additional pistol grip and folding stock it can be a stand alone weapon.

The shotgun is a 12 gauge caliber and is a straight pull bolt-action, the bolt handle can be placed on either side of the mechanism. Originally in development in the 1990’s it started being used in the field during the 2003 Iraq War where it was used by engineers and military police. With initial testing being  successful is looks to be on pace to replace the Mossberg M500 pump shotgun that has been in service since 1961.

It used to be that soldiers in the field would be forced to chose one weapon or another, or else be weighted down with a ton excess equipment. Making a modular system like this, and there are other attachments that can be added to the M16/M4 chassis, give the soldiers more flexibility and less weight. Advances like this are what will take the US military into the conflicts of the future. Until then this is by far one of the most effective skeleton keys available to the troops.