"USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the lead ship of the new Gerald R. Ford class of aircraft carrier, the first new class in more than 40 years," the release said on Thursday.
The Defense Department explained the US Navy plans to spend $43 billion on developing and building three new Ford-class ships — Ford, the future John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and Enterprise (CVN 80).
The Ford-class aircraft carriers feature significant advancements over their predecessors, including having an electromagnetic aircraft launch system, advanced arresting gear, dual band radar and integrated warfare systems, according to the release.
The new aircraft carrier is named after the 38th president of the United States. Ford became president after Richard Nixon stepped down amid the Watergate scandal in 1977.