USNI News polled its writers, naval analysts and service members on what they consider the most important military and maritime stories in 2017.
The following is part of a series. Please also see Top Stories: International Acquisition, Navy Operations, Marine Corps Operations, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Acquisition, International Operations and New Administration.
2017 began with the promise of planning for a larger fleet: at the end of 2016, the Navy announced a 355-ship requirement, and the incoming Trump Administration expressed its support for a larger military and a heftier Navy. Few concrete steps were taken this year, though, to begin a buildup – though many programs that will be pivotal to the 355-ship fleet of the future reached significant programmatic milestones in 2017.
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during its commissioning ceremony at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Ford is the lead ship of the Ford-class aircraft carriers, and the first new U.S. aircraft carrier designed in 40 years. US Navy photo.
ABOARD USS GERALD R. FORD – Saturday’s commissioning of aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) was a celebration of the end of a long and at-times hard road to bring the warship and its many new technologies to the fleet – a path the Navy may not choose to take again. Read More
President Donald J. Trump tours Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78). Trump visited March 2 to meet with Sailors and shipbuilders of the Navy’s first-in-class aircraft carrier. US Navy Photo
This post has been updated to include a comment from Acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley.
President Donald Trump wants the new Gerald Ford-class aircraft carriers to use older steam catapults to launch aircraft rather than the new electromagnetic launch system that the Navy has been developing for more than a decade. Read More
An E/A-18G Growler attached to the Wizards of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) on April 20, 2015. US Navy photo.
The new class of Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) aircraft carriers, with its software-driven Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) and Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), will put so much less stress on aircraft that Navy engineers will be able to think about future aircraft design in a whole new way, the Navy’s director of air warfare told reporters Monday. Read More