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Ford clears acceptance trials; delivery 'close at hand'

Sailors assigned to the Pre-Commissioning Unit aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) scrub the flight deck on May 25, 2017 after an aqueous film forming foam wash down during acceptance trials.

RUBEN REED/U.S. NAVY

By HUGH LESSIG | Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) | Published: May 27, 2017

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The future USS Gerald R. Ford has successfully completed its final round of sea trials and the delivery to the Navy is up next, according to Naval Sea Systems Command.

The ship was at sea from Wednesday through Friday on acceptance trials, during which the crew demonstrates its ability to operate at sea and show that the ship was built according to contract specifications, NAVSEA said in a news release Friday.

The first-in-class nuclear-powered carrier was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, the Navy's program executive officer for aircraft carriers, congratulated the crew and shipbuilders and said delivery is "close at hand."

A commissioning ceremony will be held sometime this summer.

Acceptance trials were conducted by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey. Prior to getting underway, INSURV conducted a set of pierside trials. The at-sea period included more than 500 demonstrations of the ship's hull, mechanical and electrical systems, NAVSEA said.

When it joins the fleet, the Ford will replace the former USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. It will bring the carrier fleet from 10 ships to the required 11.

©2017 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
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