USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully completed the second of three scheduled explosive events for Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST), July 16, 2021. U.S. Navy Photo

USS Gerald R. Ford Completes Latest Round of Explosive Shock Trials

Mike Schuler
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July 26, 2021

The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) has passed the second of three scheduled “shock trials”.

The latest Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) test took place in the Atlantic Ocean on July 16th, on the fourth anniversary of the ship’s commissioning.

FSSTs are conducted on new ship designs to validate the “hardness” of the ship, designed to demonstrate the ship’s ability to withstand the effects of nearby underwater explosion and retain required capability. The trials use some 40,000 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.

“We’ve gained a deeper understanding of our ship’s robust capabilities by enduring these 40,000-pound blasts,” said Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, Ford’s commanding officer. “This insight promises even more success in all aspects of our warfighting posture. As we celebrate the four year anniversary of our ship’s commissioning, we deeply appreciate the efforts by the generations of Sailors who got the ship this far.”

A video of the first FSST, taking place in June, is below:

The Navy says the tests are done within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life.

Ford is the newest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy and closed out a successful 18-month Post Delivery Test & Trials period in April, during which the crew completed all required testing and accomplished planned improvements and maintenance. At the same time, the ship also served as the sole East Coast platform for conducting carrier qualifications.

A third and final FSST explosive event is planned for later this month. After successful completion, the ship will enter a Planned Incremental Availability for six months of modernization, maintenance, and repairs prior to its operational employment.

“Based on Ford’s performance during the independent steaming events and Full Ship Shock Trials, we’ll be entering the integration period of the strike group and air wing with the utmost confidence in ship’s force,” said Rear Adm. Gregory Huffman, commander, CSG-12. “This year’s commissioning anniversary can be celebrated with the knowledge of how far the ship has come and with certainty in future greatness. The approaching maiden deployment will show the world that Ford is truly a leading-edge platform, whose operating capabilities have been sharpened with the expertise and experience of her outstanding crewmembers.”

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