Future USS Gerald R. Ford starts acceptance trials

The U.S. Navy’s future aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) departed Naval Station Norfolk for its second set of sea trials, known as acceptance trials (AT) on May 24.

During acceptance trials, the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) will test the ship’s ability to conduct operations at sea and verify that the ship is constructed in accordance with contract specifications.

Over the next several days, CVN 78 sailors will operate many of the ship’s key systems and technologies, overseen by INSURV and the Navy’s Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair and accompanied by shipbuilders from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding.

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is the lead ship of a new class of aircraft carriers built for the U.S. Navy. Another two ships in the class, future USS John F. Kennedy and USS Enterprise, are in different stages of construction.

Measuring 1,100 foot (335 meters) in length and displacing 100,000 tonnes Gerald R. Ford is the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years. Improvements in the ship design will, according to the Navy, allow the embarked air wing to operate with approximately 400 fewer personnel. The navy will also save $4 billion in total ownership costs during each ship’s 50-year service life, compared to the Nimitz-class.