The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) transits the Atlantic Ocean, March 26, 2022.US Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jackson Adkins
The US Navy's most advanced aircraft carrier – which was commissioned and then later critiqued by former President Donald Trump – deployed Tuesday from Norfolk, Virginia, to head to the Atlantic.
After years of delay and costly setbacks that have amounted to a $13 billion price tag, the USS Gerald Ford set off for its first deployment, entering the competitive arena of naval ships from countries like Russia and China.
The ship comes with a slew of new technologies, including electromagnetic catapults that can launch planes and advanced weapons elevators that will move bombs and missiles up to the flight deck.
Not only is this one of the most advanced aircraft carriers to enter the waters, surpassing the Navy's own Nimitz-class carriers, but it's also the world's largest.
Its sheer size hasn't won over everyone, however. Former president Donald Trump was among one the critics of the ship.
According to "Peril," a book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Trump was often preoccupied with the carrier, ranting about the ship's high cost as well as the placement of the flight command center on the flight deck.
"It just doesn't look right," Trump said, according to the book.
Congressmembers have also taken issue with the ship. Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia called the ship a "$13-billion nuclear-powered floating berthing barge."
Ford's deployment in the Atlantic Ocean will consist of military exercises involving about 9,000 personnel from nine countries, 20 ships, and 60 aircrafts, according to the Navy.
Take a peek at the Navy's latest aircraft carrier:
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