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US Navy's new Ford-class carrier sets sail for acceptance trials

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Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford. A US Navy photo

WASHINGTON (BNS): The US Navy's next generation aircraft carrier, the nuclear-powered USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78), has departed the Naval Station Norfolk for acceptance trials on May 24, paving the way for the powerful warship's commissioning into service later this year.

During the trials, the warship will demonstrate to the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey (INSURV) its ability to conduct operations at sea and that the ship is constructed in accordance with contract specifications.

Over the next several days, CVN 78 sailors will operate many of the warship's key systems and technologies, overseen by INSURV and the Navy's Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Conversion and Repair and accompanied by shipbuilders from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding, the US Navy said in a statement.

The USS Ford completed shipbuilder's trial in April this year.

The Gerald R Ford-class is being built by US shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) as the next generation of aircraft carriers for the US Navy, using advanced technology and flaunting new design.

As the lead ship of the class, USS Gerald Ford was christened in November 2013. Construction of the warship, started in 2008, has been marred by cost overruns and delivery delays. The platform will be followed by the 'John F Kennedy' and 'Enterprise' carriers.

The multi-billion dollar nuclear-powered carrier is equipped with an array of advanced technology and systems. The carrier flaunts a new design to allow up to 25 per cent more sorties for fighter jets and helicopters on board, generate more electrical power and produce more fresh water from desalination systems.

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