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USS Gerald R. Ford completes Planned Incremental Availability

A PIA is a phase of work where shipbuilders bring a vessel up-to-date on the latest military and technological modifications.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — The USS Gerald R. Ford is one step closer to deploying.

Newport News Shipbuilding's parent company, Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), announced on Tuesday the ship had gotten through its first planned incremental availability (PIA). That's a phase of work where shipbuilders bring a vessel up-to-date on military and technological modifications.

It took six months to complete this stage.

The Ford is the first ship in the newest class of Navy aircraft carriers. They feature "electromagnetic catapults and weapons elevators, a redesigned flight deck and island, and more than twice the electrical capacity of Nimitz-class carriers," according to HII.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege for our shipbuilding team to ready this most technologically advanced aircraft carrier for the Navy fleet,” wrote Lucas Hicks, vice president of the Gerald R. Ford and John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) aircraft carrier programs.

He said they'd be taking lessons from the Ford, and using them on all the other ships in its class.

The Navy has said it plans for the Ford to deploy for the first time in 2022.

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