U.S. Navy photo

Ford Completes First Full-Ship Shock Trial Event

Published June 21, 2021

USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully completed the first scheduled explosive event as part of full-ship shock trials Friday, June 18. The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions. These shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship.

The Navy has conducted full-ship shock trials over several decades, most recently for littoral combat ships USS Jackson (LCS 6) and USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in 2016. The last aircraft carrier to execute full-ship shock trials was USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in 1987.

Ford’s shock trials are being conducted off the East Coast, within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area. The Navy also has employed extensive protocols throughout full-ship shock trials to ensure the safety of military and civilian personnel participating in the testing evolution.

Ford closed out a successful 18-month post-delivery test and trials period in April, during which the crew completed all required testing, accomplished planned improvements and maintenance ahead of schedule, and learned valuable lessons to increase the reliability of Ford-class systems. At the same time, the ship also served as the sole East Coast platform for conducting carrier qualifications.

Upon completion of full-ship shock trials later this summer, Ford – built at Newport News Shipbuilding and commissioned in 2017 – will enter a planned incremental availability for six months of modernization, maintenance and repairs prior to its operational employment.