USS Gerald R Ford tests vital combat systems

8 April 2020 (Last Updated April 8th, 2020 11:49)

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) has tested vital combat systems in the Atlantic Ocean.

USS Gerald R Ford tests vital combat systems
An F-21 Kfir fighter jet conducts a fly-by of USS Gerald R. Ford during SBDT of the integrated combat systems. Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan Seelbach.

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) has tested vital combat systems in the Atlantic Ocean.

The tests were carried out under the aircraft carrier’s post-delivery test and trials (PDT&T) phase to ensure the successful integration of new technologies and to assess its combat capabilities.

Ford’s combat systems officer Commander Ron McCallister said: “The tests exercise the combat systems suite as a complete unit and ensure maximum availability to meet combat and self-defence mission requirements.

“In the end, the combat systems suite achieves maximum readiness and the Sailors develop more operational and technical competence.”

The tests included evaluating the capabilities of the Air Traffic Control Radar Beacon (ATCRB) and Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) to track objects in the air and on the surface, as well as recognise friendly and enemy aircraft.

Ford also conducted sea-based developmental testing (SBDT) of the integrated combat system, which involved tracking Kfir and Hawker Hunter jet aircraft using Ford’s Dual Band Radar (DBR).

Ford’s combat direction centre officer Commander William Buell said: “SBDT is a stepping stone towards Ford’s Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trial (CSSQT), and follow-on operational tests by the navy.

“Our SBDT operations ran very smoothly, which is a good indicator of future success on CSSQT.”

The lead ship of its class, USS Gerald R Ford, is currently conducting carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean.

Last month, the carrier completed its first vertical replenishment (VERTREP) exercise in the Atlantic Ocean.

It also achieved the 1,000th aircraft launch milestone earlier this year.