Future USS Gerald R. Ford returns from acceptance trials
By Naval Sea Systems Command Public Affairs
| May 26, 2017
NORFOLK (April 14, 2017) The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk for the first time. The first-of-class ship - the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years - spent several days conducting builder's sea trails, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies. (Photo by Matt Hildreth, courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully completed acceptance trials conducted by the U.S. Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) in the Atlantic Ocean May 24-26 and is in final preparations for delivery.
Acceptance trials are primarily aimed at demonstrating to INSURV the ability of the ship's crew to conduct operations at sea, and that the ship is constructed in accordance with contract specifications.
"Congratulations to our Navy and industry team for all the great work that has led us to this exciting milestone," said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. "As a result of much dedication and hard work, delivery of CVN 78 is close at hand, and we are looking forward to commissioning the ship into the fleet this summer."
Prior to the underway period, INSURV conducted a rigorous set of pierside trials, including more than 200 in-port demonstrations and inspections. The three-day at-sea portion of acceptance trials also included more than 500 INSURV demonstrations and inspections of the ship's hull, mechanical and electrical systems.
The Navy's Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair is responsible for ensuring the ship's readiness for acceptance trials and presenting the ship to INSURV. The ship's crew is responsible for operating the ship and conducting tests and demonstrations. INSURV oversees and witnesses the execution of the acceptance trials schedule.
CVN 78 is the lead ship in the Ford class of aircraft carriers, the U.S. Navy's first new aircraft carrier class in more than 40 years, which will begin the phased replacement of Nimitz-class carriers when the ship is commissioned. CVN 78 is designed with significant quality-of-life improvements and reduced maintenance requirements. Several new technologies, such as the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, Advanced Arresting Gear, and Dual Band Radar have been incorporated into the Ford's design. These innovations are expected to improve operational availability and capability, and reduce total ownership cost over its 50-year service life by nearly $4 billion compared with Nimitz-class carriers. CVN 78 honors the 38th president of the United States and pays tribute to his lifetime of service in the Navy, in the U.S. government and to the nation.
Construction of CVN 78 has been ongoing since 2008, with the island landed in January 2013. The ship was christened in November 2013 by the ship's sponsor, Susan Ford Bales, daughter of President Ford. The ship's crew conducted a pierside "fast cruise" in March 2017, and builder's sea trials occurred in April 2017.
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