World's biggest warship and US Navy's newest aircraft arrives off the coast of Portsmouth

  • ITV Meridian's Matt Teale was luckily enough to spend some time onboard and meet some of her crew.

The World's biggest warship has arrived off the coast of Portsmouth. The USS Gerald R Ford is the US Navy's newest aircraft carrier and it's on its maiden deployment.

At 333m long it's so big it can be seen from Gosport and the Isle of Wight. It cost more than £8 billion to build and is home to thousands of serving men and women.

The 100,000 ton warship, which is about 50m longer than the Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth, is visiting the UK in its first foreign port visit outside North America.

The huge flight deck is packed with more than 40 aircraft, including dozens of F-18 jets, as seen in the Top Gun: Maverick movie.

The Gerald R Ford is the first new American aircraft carrier designed in over 40 years. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Captain Paul Lanzilotta, the commanding officer of the warship, which is the first in a new class of aircraft carriers, said: "This ship is badass, I will just put it that way. It's a really great system of systems, high technology is everywhere you walk on this ship."

He added: "We have a little bit of the new-car feel, there is a bit of a buzz about the biggest, baddest warship of the fleet and our sailors feel that."

He added: "The US aircraft carrier brings with it power projection, it's a visible statement of presence wherever we go, it shows commitment to our allies and to peace and stability in the region."

Among the technological innovations on the ship are the 11 advanced weapons elevators (AWE) which use electromagnetism to speed up its capability of resupplying the fighter jets.

It's hoped the USS Gerald R Ford will be in service for fifty years. Credit: ITV News Meridian

The lifts can carry 24,000 pounds per load at a speed greater than the previous Nimitz-class of US aircraft carriers.

The ship's plasma arc waste destruction system (PAWDS) has also been designed to boost its environmental credentials, by burning up to 3,000lbs of rubbish at 5,000C, meaning 100 pounds of waste can be reduced to 1lb.

The carrier, which was christened in November 2013, deployed from Norfolk, Virginia, on October 4 and has been conducting exercises with Nato allies including Canada, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany.

The Ford, which is accompanied by a carrier strike group of supporting warships, is expected to leave the UK soon to continue operations in the Atlantic.