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TODAY   |  November 11, 2013

Navy christens supercarrier USS Gerald R. Ford

Construction continues on the massive U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford, a Navy supercarrier still under construction that will replace the U.S.S. Enterprise. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> with this veterans day with a special look at the u.s.s. gerald r. ford . it was christened over the weekend in virginia. nbc's tom costello went on board.

>> reporter: at the moment, she is one giant construction project . thousands of men and women working 24/7 to build the most advanced aircraft carrier ever designed. captain john myer is the ship's first commanding officer. he took us along for a tour from below deck to high above on the ship's bridge.

>> this will be your view.

>> exactly. you can see it's the best seat in the house.

>> reporter: already under construction for four years, the gerald r. ford represents a new super class of aircraft carriers named after the nation's 38th president who was himself a navy veteran of world war ii . over the weekend, president ford 's daughter susan christened the ship.

>> the motto of the ship is integrity at the helm. it's so fitting. that's what my dad was, integrity.

>> when complete, he'll weigh nearly 100,000 tons. on board, two nuclear reactors producing 250% more electricity than other carriers. a redesigned flight deck means 25% more room to launch and recover planes and the island sits 140 feet further yet standing 20 feet taller.

>> a lot of work still has to be done. the first sea trials won't begin until february 2016 , more than two years from now and then years of shake down until the first deployment in 2019 . the redesign should allow the ship to launch up from 200 on a current carrier .

>> aircraft will start here and shoot to the end of the trough. it will go about 140 or 150 miles per hour.

>> the challenge, planning for the aircraft of the future. for today, tom costello, nbc news, newport news virginia.

>> they have to try to figure out what the world is going to be like and the military needs will be like 20, 30, 40 years down the road.

>> it's amazing to think about