The U.S. Navy’s new $13 billion aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) has completed the first scheduled “shock trials” in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday.
The U.S. Navy’s Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) are conducted on new ship designs to validate the “hardness” of the ship. The trials use thousands of pounds of explosives, detonated in close proximity, to confirm that warships can continue to meet mission requirements under harsh conditions they might encounter in battle.
The FSST testing is done in accordance with Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Instruction 9072.2, and as mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016. The Navy has conducted FSSTs over several decades, most recently for the Littoral Combat Ships USS Jackson (LCS 6) and USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in 2016; as well as for the San Antonioclass amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19) in 2008, the amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) in 1990, and the guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) in 1987. The last aircraft carrier to execute FSST was USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in 1987.
Friday’s test was the first of three the USS Gerald R. Ford go through.
Ford is the newest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy. It closed out a successful 18month Post Delivery Test & Trials period in April, during which the crew completed all required testing, accomplished planned improvements and maintenance ahead of schedule. At the same time, the ship also served as the sole East Coast platform for conducting carrier qualifications.
Upon completion of Ford’s Full Ship Shock Trials later this summer, the ship will enter a Planned Incremental Availability for six months of modernization, maintenance, and repairs prior to its operational employment.
Gerald R. Ford Shock Trial Photos:
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