WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford completed its second in-water shock trial on July 16, after an attempt earlier in the month failed due to technical issues.
Ford is undergoing a three-part test series to ensure the first-in-class carrier is properly battle-hardened. The service will set off three blasts in the water, each successively closer to the ship – and after each blast, the crew tests all major ship systems to ensure they weren’t harmed and inspects the hull for any signs of damage.
The first test was successfully completed on June 18 off the coast of Florida.
“Ford attempted shot 2 on July 1st, but experienced technical issues with test equipment onboard one of the support vessels that prevented execution at that time. The second shot was ultimately conducted 16 July,” Naval Sea Systems Command spokeswoman Kathryn Bienfang told Defense News.
The carrier “remains on track to complete [full-ship shock trials] within the allotted timeframe,” she added.
The ship’s spokeswoman, Lt. Cmdr. Desiree Frame, previously told Defense News that the three blasts would take place in June and July and were scheduled around known marine life migration patterns, among other factors.
Local media reported that the recent in-water explosion registered as a 3.9 magnitude earthquake, similar to the first attempt.
Megan Eckstein is the naval warfare reporter at Defense News. She has covered military news since 2009, with a focus on U.S. Navy and Marine Corps operations, acquisition programs, and budgets. She has reported from four geographic fleets and is happiest when she’s filing stories from a ship. Megan is a University of Maryland alumna.