The first of the new class of US Navy aircraft carriers, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), completed sea trials following its Post-Shakedown Availability/Selected Restricted Availability (PSA/SRA).
One of the tests conducted following the post-delivery repairs included high speed turns to test the ship’s stability.
USS Grald R. Ford started the post shakedown repairs on July 15, 2018. The PSA included work on Advanced Weapons Elevators (AWEs), repairs to the ship’s main reduction gear, improvements to the throttle control system, upgrades to the Advanced Arresting Gear, and numerous other maintenance tasks.
During the PSA, most individual discrepancies, known as “trial cards,” that had been identified during previous work-ups were successfully addressed, with very few remaining to address in future maintenance availabilities.
Program manager for USS Gerald R. Ford, Capt. Ron Rutan, acknowledged that unique challenges accompany technological advances.
“The design and execution challenge in delivering a first-of-class warfighting platform is not only to make CVN 78 better, but also to enhance production on the next ships in the class — the future USS John F. Kennedy (CVN 79) and future USS Enterprise (CVN 80),” said Rutan. “The Gerald R. Ford class will set the competitive standard for afloat performance and power projection well into the second half of the 21st century.”
The Gerald R. Ford class incorporates 23 new technologies, comprising advances in propulsion, power generation, ordnance handling and aircraft launch systems. These innovations are expected to support a 30 percent higher sortie generation rate, executed with a 20 percent reduction in crew, when compared to Nimitz-class ships.
“As the first new aircraft carrier design in more than 40 years, this ship is a test bed for the warfighting technology essential for air dominance in the 21st century,” Rutan said.