The US Navy's USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) Ford-class aircraft carrier has departed Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, in order to undergo its second set of sea trials.
The sea acceptance trials will demonstrate the vessel’s capabilities to the US Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV). They will also assess its ability to carry out operations at sea and confirm the vessel has been built in accordance contracted specifications.
Sailors from the USS Gerald R. Ford's crew will operate a wide range of the ship's major systems and technologies over the next few days.
Test operations will be overseen by INSURV and the US Navy's Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair, and will be accompanied by shipbuilders from Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) Newport News Shipbuilding.
The first set of sea trials, known as builder's sea trials, were conducted in early April in order to test the carrier's systems, components and compartments at sea for the first time.
The US Navy’s CVN 78 features two newly designed reactors and has 250% additional electrical capacity than previous carriers, which will enable USS Gerald to load weapons and launch aircraft faster than other aircraft carriers.
It is also the US Navy's first aircraft carrier to be completely designed using a three-dimensional (3D) product model.
Image: The aircraft carrier Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pulls into Naval Station Norfolk for the first time. Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Matt Hildreth courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries / Released.