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NEWS | July 19, 2018

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Enters Post-Shakedown Availability

By PEO Aircraft Carriers Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) began its post-shakedown availability/selected restricted availability (PSA/SRA) in Newport News, Va., July 15.


The PSA, scheduled for completion in summer 2019, includes the installation of remaining combat systems, completion of deferred work, and the correction of any remaining discrepancies identified during sea trials and shakedown. 


As a first-in-class platform, CVN 78 has been tasked with conducting post-delivery testing and trial operations that identify construction and design issues, a process known as "shakedown." This process has proven effective in the early identification of issues, providing time to address them prior to the aircraft carrier's initial deployment. Key focus areas of CVN 78's PSA are issues associated with the Dual Band Radar; Underway Replenishment System; the propulsion train; Vacuum, Collection, Holding and Transfer system; and the Plasma Arc Waste Destruction System.


From her delivery to the Navy on May 31, 2017, through May 2018, CVN 78 operated at sea for 81 days through eight independent steaming events and successfully completed fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft integration and compatibility testing; air traffic control center certification; JP-5 fuel system certification; day and night underway replenishment capability demonstration; ship's defensive system demonstration; Dual Band Radar testing; and propulsion plant operations. During this period, the ship completed nearly 750 aircraft launches and recoveries against a plan of approximately 400.  


"This is the first shakedown of a new class of U.S. aircraft carrier in four decades," said Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers Rear Adm. Brian K. Antonio,. "We have a unique opportunity in this PSA to lay a solid foundation for the following ships of the class, and I know the CVN 78 team is actively incorporating lessons learned to ensure that Ford class attains full operational capability."


Following the PSA/SRA, USS Gerald R. Ford will conduct further trials and testing, including full-ship shock trials prior to its first deployment. The ship will prepare for deployment in parallel with its initial operational testing and evaluation.


Aircraft carriers are central to our nation's defense strategy, which calls for forward presence; the ability to simultaneously deter potential adversaries and assure our allies; and capacity to project power at sea and ashore. These national assets are the most adaptable platforms in the world, equally capable of providing core capabilities of sea control, maritime security, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  Ford-class aircraft carriers will provide great value to our nation with unprecedented and greatly needed warfighting capability at lower overall total ownership cost than a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and will provide the flexibility and capacity needed to remain ready, relevant, and capable throughout the 21st century. 


                                                                                                                                   - NAVSEA -