June 1 (UPI) -- The U.S. Navy received delivery of the future aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford on May 31, the namesake and first vessel of the Gerald R. Ford class. The acquisition follows the completion of acceptance trials by the Navy Board of Inspection and Survey on May 26.
"Congratulations to everyone who has helped bring CVN 78 to this historic milestone," Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, said in a press release.
"Over the last several years, thousands of people have had a hand in delivering Ford to the Navy -- designing, building and testing the Navy's newest, most capable, most advanced warship. Without a doubt, we would not be here without the hard work and dedication of those from the program office, our engineering teams and those who performed and oversaw construction of this incredible warship."
It is the first new class of aircraft carrier produced since the introduction of the Nimitz-class in 1975, and the first new carrier since the George H.W. Bush in 2009.
The Gerald R. Ford is the largest aircraft carrier ever produced, with displacement of over 100,000 tons and a length of over 1,100 feet. The aircraft carrier features a sophisticated Electromagnetic Launch System for launching aircraft, replacing older steam-driven systems, and will have a crew of over 5000.
It carries two nuclear reactors for propulsion and electrical power, and is expected to have a 50-year service life. It will be officially commissioned in the fleet in the summer. This will be followed with a test deployment and shakedown trials, with deficiencies and other planned deferred work to be addressed during in-port time periods.