The U.S. Navy next-generation aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), returned to sea for this week for a series of sea trials prior to returning to Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia.
The sea trials took place off the U.S. east coast after the aircraft carrier completed a 15-month pierside maintenance period, known as a Post Shakedown Availability (PSA), at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ Newport News Shipbuilding (HII-NNS). The more than $12.9 billion aircraft carrier also had to undergo repairs to its elevator systems and issues with its nuclear propulsion system arising in early 2018.
“I am proud of the crew’s efforts to get USS Gerald R. Ford back out to sea,” said Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer. “The Navy has diligently tackled issues associated with this first-in-class ship and will continue to do so. All are eager to demonstrate Ford’s capacity to deliver combat power. There is more work to do, but this is a great milestone.”
One of the trials included high-speed turn test, seen in the video below released by the Navy:
Once at Naval Station Norfolk, CVN 78 will enter a postdelivery test and trials period to certify fuel systems, aircraft compatibility, flight deck certification, and testing of the combat systems.
“After a challenging post-shakedown availability at Newport News Shipbuilding, the crew is excited to turn their hardhats in and get Warship 78 back out to sea,” said Capt. J.J. Cummings, Ford’s commanding officer. “I am extremely proud of our Sailors and the remarkable work ethic they have demonstrated over the last 15 months. It is their energy, enthusiasm and grit that has gotten our ship to this point, and it will be their motivation and resiliency that will fuel our success during post-delivery test and trial.”
CVN 78 has a top speed in excess of 30 knots.