The US Navy has accepted delivery of the future USS Gerald R. Ford.
In July 2016, a memo was obtained by CNN from Michael Gilmore, the US Department of Defense Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation indicating that problems with four major flight systems would further delay combat readiness of the ship. The ship was originally expected to be delivered in November 2016 and these issues further delayed that goal.
Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers said:
“Congratulations to everyone who has helped bring CVN 78 to this historic milestone.
Over the last several years, thousands of people have had a hand in delivering Ford to the Navy — designing, building and testing the Navy’s newest, most capable, most advanced warship. Without a doubt, we would not be here without the hard work and dedication of those from the program office, our engineering teams and those who performed and oversaw construction of this incredible warship.
It is because of them that Ford performed so well during acceptance trials, as noted by the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey.”
“Well done to our shipbuilding partners, Ford’s crew and everyone who supported them,” said Vice Adm. Tom Moore, commander, Naval Sea Systems Command, who also embarked for acceptance trials.
Ford is the lead ship of its class and the first new-design aircraft carrier delivered to the US Navy since USS Nimitz in 1975.
According to the US Navy:
“The next generation of aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford class delivers unprecedented flexibility to the fleet. Due to a larger flight deck, the ability to host more aircraft, additional weapons and aviation fuel storage, and the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arresting Gear, Ford will be able to increase sortie rates by one-third when compared to the Nimitz class. Further, the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier generates three times the amount of electricity as previous classes and is designed to rapidly add capabilities as new systems become available over the course of its projected 50-year service life.”
Ford will be commissioned into the fleet this summer, formally placing the ship into active service. The supercarrier is expected to be operational in 2020 following achievement of initial operational capability.