NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Fresh off a successful round of sea trials, shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries has delivered the newest aircraft carrier to the Navy.
The Gerald R. Ford completed its acceptance trials on May 26, which were designed to prove the carrier and its crew could effectively conduct operations at sea.
“Today is a historic day for Newport News Shipbuilding and one that is personally rewarding for me,” Newport News Shipbuilding President Matt Mulherin said in a press release. “I’ve had the pleasure of watching our shipbuilders bring this great warship to life. From her first cut of steel to her final round of testing, Ford is proof of our shipbuilders’ exceptional skills and talents. I am proud of their innovation, perseverance and unwavering commitment that has built the most advanced aircraft carrier in the world. We are honored to deliver Gerald R. Ford to the Navy, and we do so with full confidence in her unmatched power and ability to sail the seas in protection of our freedom for the next half century.”
The Ford is the first in a new class of aircraft carriers designed to replace the Nimitz-class carriers.
Huntington Ingalls says the Ford features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft sortie rates, and growth margin for future technologies.
Last month the carrier went through initial testing for seven days.
Construction on the Ford started in 2009. It was supposed to finish by September 2015, with costs at $10.5 billion. But there were issues with the carrier's advanced systems and technology, including aircraft landing equipment and power generation, leading to delays and cost overruns that increased the price tag to $12.9 billion.
There's no date set at this time for the Ford to be commissioned into service.