President Trump to attend commissioning of the Gerald R. Ford

It is way behind schedule and way over budget but, the Gerald R. Ford is about to join the Navy fleet. Finally.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- President Donald Trump will preside over the commissioning of the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, the Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78).

The nuclear-powered ship will be commissioned on Saturday, July 22 at Naval Station Norfolk.

The Ford, named after the nation's 38th president, will become the newest, most advanced aircraft carrier ever.

The president had previously criticized some of the new technology on the Ford, because of cost overruns and delays.

The ship is the first of the Navy's new and advanced Ford class of aircraft carrier . The president told Time magazine earlier this year that the Navy should go back to using steam catapults to launch fighter jets because the new system "costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it's no good."

Construction on the Ford began in 2009. It was supposed to completed 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.

The ship completed acceptance trials earlier this year, and was delivered to the Navy last month.

The Ford will go through various tests and workups at sea before becoming operational in the next few years.

PHOTOS: The Gerald R. Ford's second set of sea trials

The Associated Press contributed to this report

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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