VIDEO: Ford comes through first shock trial

Written by Nick Blenkey
Huge explosion off aircraft carrier bow

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) completes the first scheduled explosive event of Full Ship Shock Trials while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, June 18, 2021. [U.S.Navy photograph]

The U.S. Navy has released video of the first scheduled explosive event in a series of Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The Navy has not released details of about how much explosive was used, but the U.S. Geological Survey recorded the test as a 3.9 magnitude event in its earthquake data.

The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship.

The U.S. Navy has conducted FSSTs over several decades, most recently for the Littoral Combat Ships USS Jackson (LCS 6) and USS Milwaukee (LCS 5) in 2016.

The Navy is conducting the shock trial testing in accordance with Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Instruction 9072.2, and as mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.

Ford’s shock trials are being conducted off the East Coast of the United States, within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area. The Navy says it also has employed extensive protocols throughout FSST to ensure the safety of military and civilian personnel participating in the testing evolution.

Ford, the newest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the U.S. Navy, completed a successful 18-month post delivery test & trials period in April, during which the crew completed all required testing, accomplished planned improvements and maintenance ahead of schedu.

On completion of FSST later this summer, Ford will enter a Planned Incremental Availability for six months of modernization, maintenance, and repairs prior to its operational employment.

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