USS Gerald R. Ford Finishes Full Ship Shock Trials

The USS Gerald R. Ford successfully completed its third explosive event off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida on Sunday, marking the completion of the ship’s Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST), the US Navy reported.

The FSST of the first-in-class aircraft carrier lasted four months, in which it “withstood the impact of three 40,000-pound underwater blasts, released at distances progressively closer to the ship.”

According to the manager for the navy’s future aircraft carrier program office Capt. Brian Metcalf, ships in the USS Gerald R. Ford-class were designed “using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ships are hardened to withstand harsh battle conditions.”

“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,” he added.

Full Ship Shock Trials

The navy conducts FSST on its warships to simulate the potential stress and impact that a ship could encounter in a real-life engagement. The trials ensure that ships can meet the demands of warfare. 

With this in mind, Metcalf reported the Ford showed satisfactory results.

“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,” he said.

After the FSST

Following the shock tests, the Ford is set to go to the Tidewater area for a six-month Planned Incremental Availability.

The move is to continue with more thorough 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.”

Rear Adm. James P. Downey, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, was aboard the ship during the first and third shock trials. He said the tests proved the “ship’s fight-through capability,” and have “proven a critical investment in the Ford-class development.”

The USS Gerald R. Ford was named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, and christened on November 9, 2013. It replaced the USS Enterprise after the latter was decommissioned.

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