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Gerald R. Ford’s shock trials reach an explosive end

11th August 2021 - 12:32 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford completes the third and final scheduled explosive event for Full Ship Shock Trials while underway in the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo: USN)

The USN conducts shock trials of new ship designs to ensure that vessels meet mission requirements and withstand battle conditions.

USN aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford has conducted a third and final explosive event, bringing an end to the ship’s Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST).

The USN uses shock trials to validate the ability of a ship to sustain operations during simulated combat with live ordnance.

During the tests, Ford endured the impact of three 40,000lb detonations at distances sequentially closer to the ship.

USN future aircraft carrier programme office manager CAPT Brian Metcalf said: ‘The Navy designed the Ford-class carrier using advanced computer modelling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ships are hardened to withstand harsh battle conditions,’

Metcalf added that the demonstrations proved to the crew that the carrier would sustain significant shock and operate in ‘extreme conditions’.

Ford will now begin six months of Planned Incremental Availability in the US’ Tidewater region.

Personnel will conduct detailed assessments of any damage caused during the shock trials ahead of the vessel’s deployment in 2022.

FSSTs are conducted to a precise operating schedule and feature strong requirements on mitigating environmental impacts, including the known migration patterns of marine life.

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