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New High-Tech USS Ford Aircraft Carrier Now Slated to Deliver in April

13 January 2017
New High-Tech USS Ford Aircraft Carrier Now Slated to Deliver in April

The Navy has made "significant progress" on the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford and the first-in-class ship could be delivered in April, a Navy spokeswoman said Wednesday. Now, the Navy is saying the ship will be ready for sea trials in March and April, with delivery expected sometime in April - assuming sea trials go well and the ship is deemed worthy to serve.

The captain added that Ford is 99% complete overall, with 93% of the test programme concluded (93% of hull, mechanical, and electrical, 92% of propulsion, and 93% of electronics testing).

The ship's larger deck space is, by design, meant to accommodate a potential increase in use of carrier-launched technologies such as unmanned aircraft systems in the future.

In September, the Navy backed away from a planned November delivery date and declined to predict when it would be delivered.

Kent said builder's trials are scheduled for March.

The Navy will accept delivery of the next-generation aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) in April, the service announced today.

The ship has faced numerous technological hurdles that have led to delays and cost overruns. This helps support the ship's developing systems such as its Electro-Magnetic Aircraft Launch System, or EMALS, and provides power for future systems such as lasers and rail-guns, many Navy senior leaders have explained.

The new vessel includes electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones, a system which replaces steam catapults.

The Ford-class ships are engineered with a redesigned island, slightly larger deck space and new weapons elevators in order to achieve an increase in sortie-generation rate.

It has been called "the most advanced aircraft carrier ever built" by those close to the project.