NORFOLK, Va. — The USS Gerald R. Ford has completed a critical milestone by successfully withstanding a series of at sea explosions this summer.
The third and final explosive event took place Sunday off the coast of Florida.
During Full Ship Shock Trials, the first-in-class Ford was tested with live explosives to ensure the new ship design is battle-ready and can survive after exposure to an underwater shock.
The first two explosion test events happened in June and July.
"These shots have only strengthened my confidence in the durability of this ship, and the excellence of the crew who came out here to own it, and absolutely crushed it," Captain Paul Lanzilotta, Commanding Officer of Ford, said in a Navy release.
The last time an aircraft carrier underwent shock trials was the Nimitz-class carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in 1987.
Next up for the Ford is a six-month long maintenance period at Newport News Shipbuilding where any damage sustained during the shock trials will be assessed and repaired, as well as additional modernization work completed.
The Navy says the Ford is on track for its first deployment to happen in 2022.