Next-generation aircraft carrier: builder's sea trials done

The future USS GERALD R. FORD arrives at Naval Station Norfolk

Newport News shipbuilders partnered with Gerald R. Ford sailors and personnel from Naval Sea Systems Command to perform the sea trials tests. Construction on the Ford started in 2009. The trials also include high-speed runs and demonstrate numerous carrier's other capabilities.

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford heads to the Norfolk, Va., naval station on Friday, April 14, 2017 after nearly a week of builder's trials during which the ships systems were tested.

The first of the U.S. Navy's new class of aircraft carriers has returned following a week of sea trials.

"As is typical with sea trials, the Navy and shipbuilder learned a great deal about the ship's performance during the extensive testing", the release stated. Those trials concluded Friday, he added in a statement.

The $13-billion vessel has a long history of cost overruns, delays and technical glitches, prompting former Navy Secretary Ray Mabus in October to label the Ford "a textbook example of how not to build a ship".

Construction on the Navy's newest carrier was initially set to be completed in September 2015, but it was delayed.

Gerald R. Ford is the first in a class of next-generation aircraft carriers created to replace Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.

While they were out to sea, the ship also assisted with a medevac operation for a Sailor on board the USS Oak Hill.



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