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What is the Naval Power of USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Deployed Near Israel.

| 2023

In deep analysis, the Navy Recognition editorial team explains what are the naval capabilities of the USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier Strike Group deployed near Israel. The recent deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group off the coast of Israel marks a significant step in the assertion of American naval power. This strategic move includes not only the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier but also several other warships, each with a specific role and capabilities.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 USS Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carrier Strike Group (Picture source: US Navy)

The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group (CSG) revolves around the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), which stands as the lead ship of her class of United States Navy aircraft carriers. Representing the next generation of naval aviation, the Gerald R. Ford is the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in over 40 years, taking over from the Nimitz-class carriers. A typical Carrier Strike Group includes the aircraft carrier itself, in this case, the USS Gerald R. Ford, equipped with a range of naval aircraft.

Accompanying the carrier are guided missile cruisers, which are multi-mission surface combatants primarily tasked with air warfare operations, but also capable of undersea and surface warfare. Additionally, the group comprises guided missile destroyers that can conduct anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-surface operations. Attack submarines are also part of the group, with their primary role being to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships. To ensure the group can operate for extended durations, a supply ship provides logistical support. Lastly, the Carrier Air Wing, a composite unit of various aircraft including fighters, reconnaissance planes, and helicopters, is an integral part of the CSG.

Each ship in the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier strike group plays a crucial role in achieving the strategic objectives of the United States. Their advanced capabilities make them a formidable force, capable of responding to a multitude of threats and scenarios. This deployment in the Eastern Mediterranean aims not only to strengthen the joint force posture of the United States but also to provide rapid material support to Israel, thereby underlining the unwavering support of the United States for the Israeli Defense Forces.

The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group has been deployed to the Eastern Mediterranean. This group comprises the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and missile destroyers including USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS Carney (DDG 64), and USS Roosevelt (DDG 80). Additionally, the U.S. Air Force has bolstered its presence with F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter squadrons in the area. Globally, the U.S. keeps forces on standby to strengthen this deterrent stance if necessary.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carrier:

The USS Gerald R. Ford, anchoring the Carrier Strike Group in the Eastern Mediterranean, epitomizes the zenith of naval aviation prowess. As the vanguard of its class, the CVN-78 integrates cutting-edge design with unparalleled capabilities. At its core, the carrier is engineered to launch and recover a diverse array of naval aircraft. This is facilitated by the state-of-the-art Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG), which supersede traditional steam catapults in efficiency and speed.

The USS Gerald R. Ford can accommodate more than 75 aircraft of various types, including:

- F/A-18 Super Hornets: Multirole fighters capable of air-to-air combat and precision strike against ground targets.
- E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes: Airborne early warning and control aircraft that provide a comprehensive picture of the battlespace and coordinate assets.
- EA-18G Growlers: Electronic warfare aircraft specialized in jamming enemy radars and communications.
- C-2A Greyhounds: Cargo and personnel transport aircraft, essential for carrier resupply and personnel transfer.
- M- H-60R/S Seahawk Helicopters: Multi-mission helicopters adept at anti-submarine warfare, search and rescue, and surface warfare.

Beyond its aviation assets, the Gerald R. Ford is fortified with defensive systems to counter aerial, surface, and undersea threats. This combination of diverse aircraft and robust defenses ensures the carrier's dominance in maritime theaters, reinforcing its role as a pivotal instrument of naval power projection and strategic deterrence.

USS Normandy (CG 60):

The USS Normandy stands as a formidable missile cruiser equipped for a triad of warfare domains: air, surface, and undersea. In the realm of air warfare, the Normandy boasts the Aegis combat system, enabling it to proficiently detect, track, and neutralize enemy aircraft and missiles using its advanced surface-to-air missiles. When it comes to surface warfare, the cruiser is armed with Harpoon missile launchers, making it adept at engaging surface targets over long distances. Delving into the undersea domain, the Normandy is fortified with sophisticated sonar systems, allowing it to detect and engage submarines using anti-submarine rockets and torpedoes. Beyond these, the cruiser is also equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles for land-attack roles and possesses guns and close-in weapon systems (CIWS) to defend against imminent threats.

Missile Destroyers:

USS Thomas Hudner:

As a part of the Arleigh Burke-class of guided missile destroyers, the USS Thomas Hudner is designed for multi-dimensional warfare. It's equipped with the Aegis combat system, which provides superior anti-aircraft capabilities, allowing the ship to detect and engage enemy aircraft and missiles. Additionally, its sonar systems and torpedoes make it a potent force in anti-submarine operations. The ship also boasts capabilities in anti-surface operations, using its array of missiles and guns to engage enemy ships.

USS Ramage:

The USS Ramage, another Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, is adept at handling threats from the air, surface, and beneath the waves. Its Aegis combat system ensures dominance in anti-aircraft operations, detecting and neutralizing aerial threats. In the undersea domain, the Ramage's sonar systems and anti-submarine weaponry make it a formidable adversary to enemy submarines. Furthermore, its suite of missiles and guns equip it to tackle surface threats effectively.

USS Carney:

The USS Carney, continuing the legacy of the Arleigh Burke-class, is a powerhouse in anti-aircraft, anti-submarine, and anti-surface operations. Its Aegis system provides a robust shield against aerial threats, while its sonar and torpedo systems ensure undersea dominance. The Carney is also well-equipped to engage surface targets, utilizing its missiles and guns to neutralize enemy ships.

USS Roosevelt:

Rounding out the group, the USS Roosevelt mirrors the capabilities of its sister ships in the Arleigh Burke-class. Its Aegis combat system offers top-tier anti-aircraft capabilities, ensuring the skies remain clear of threats. Beneath the surface, its sonar systems and torpedoes are primed to detect and engage enemy submarines. On the surface, the Roosevelt can effectively counter enemy ships with its array of missiles and guns.

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