The USS Gerald Ford is not a submarine and does not fly (yet). It is a super aircraft carrier. There are plans for a future upgrade that will add the ability to shoot lasers, as well as add dynamic body armour. For now, this nuclear-powered hulk of a ship can carry 75 to 90 jets, has stealth capability to evade detection by radar, has 6 big guns, packs a handful of anti-aircraft missiles.
But the USS Gerald Ford isn’t just powerful. It is also more efficient than any existing carrier. It can accomplish 25% more aircraft launches per day than the Nimitz class, generates triple the electrical power, and requires 25% fewer personnel when compared to older carriers. Even at that, it accomodates over 4,500 people and weighs 90,000 tons. Maximum speed is in excess of 30 knots (56 km per hour).
The USS Gerald Ford was built by Northrop Grumman costs the US government $13 billion. It is scheduled to be commisioned this year, 2016. Here is a picture of it during construction:
USS Gerald Ford: ThunderSub?
Fans of ThunderSub would look at the photo of the naked ship under construction and wish that the red painted hull could detach to reveal a smaller, more agile ship n the mold of Tempest Junior. The legend would then be complete. The USS Gerald Ford is not a submarine, but it is perhaps the closest thing to ThunderSub today.