USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) successfully conducted a third explosive event off the coast of Jacksonville, FL, on 8 Aug., marking the completion of the ship’s Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST).
During the four-month testing evolution, the first-in-class aircraft carrier withstood the impact of three 40,000-pound underwater blasts, released at distances progressively closer to the ship. Shock Trials validate a ship’s shock hardness and ability to sustain operations in a simulated combat environment using live ordnance.
“The Navy designed the Ford-class carrier using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ships are hardened to withstand harsh battle conditions,” Capt. Brian Metcalf, manager for the Navy’s future aircraft carrier program office, PMS 378 said in a U.S. Navy release.
“These shock trials have tested the resiliency of Ford and her crew and provided extensive data used in the process of validating the shock hardness of the ship.”
Metcalf said that the goal of the tests is to ensure that Ford’s integrated combat systems perform as designed and added “the tests demonstrated—and proved to the crew, fairly dramatically—that the ship will be able to withstand formidable shocks and continue to operate under extreme conditions.”
CVN 78 is returning to the Tidewater area for a six month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA). As the PIA begins, teams will conduct additional detailed inspections, assess any damage sustained during the shots, and continue modernization and maintenance work in advance of workups for the ship’s deployment in 2022.