HII delivers aircraft carrier to Navy

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The Navy has accepted delivery of the future USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier in Newport News.

Delivery followed the ship's successful completion of acceptance trials on May 26.

Ford is the lead ship of its class and the first new-design aircraft carrier delivered to the Navy since USS Nimitz in 1975. Ford is also the first aircraft carrier to join the fleet since USS George H. W. Bush in 2009.

More than 5,000 shipbuilders in Newport News and thousands of suppliers across the United States contributed to the construction of the ship.

The Fordclass features a new nuclear power plant, a redesigned island, electromagnetic catapults, improved weapons movement, an enhanced flight deck capable of increased aircraft deployment rates, and growth margin for future technologies. Each Ford-class ship will operate with a smaller crew than a Nimitz-class carrier, according to HII.

Ford will be commissioned into the fleet this summer, formally placing the ship into active service. After that, there will be a "shakedown" period where the ship will conduct several at-sea events to provide longer underway periods for the ship's crew to operate and train on its systems. In addition, planned deferred work will be performed, and any deficiencies identified during trials will be addressed during in-port periods.

Ford is expected to be operational in 2020.

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