PHOTOS: Future USS Gerald R. Ford Supercarrier at Sea for First Time

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway on its own power for the first time, April 8, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

The U.S. Navy’s next-generation supercarrier, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), has taken to sea for the first time for several days of builder’s trials off Virginia’s coast.

The USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the first of two ships in the U.S. Navy’s next generation aircraft carrier, known as the Gerald R. Ford class. The Ford-class is the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years, replacing some of the Navy’s Nimitz-class carriers. 

The builder’s trials, known as Builder’s Sea Trials (BST), is an opportunity to test the carrier’s systems, components and compartments at sea for the first time.

Over the next several days, CVN 78 Sailors, shipbuilders from Huntington Ingalls Industries – Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS), the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, and Naval Sea Systems Command personnel will be working side-by-side testing many of the ship’s key systems and technologies.

“The Navy and our industry partners are excited to have the future USS Gerald R. Ford underway under her own power for the first time, executing a rigorous and comprehensive test program for this first-of-class ship,” said Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers. “This milestone is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication, and we look forward to learning a great deal during sea trials. We will continue to work together to deliver Ford’s critical capabilities to the fleet.”

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
U.S. Navy Photo
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
U.S Navy Photo
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
U.S. Navy Photo
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
U.S. Navy Photo
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
U.S. Navy Photo
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) builder's sea trials
U.S. Navy Photo