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USS Gerald R. Ford tested with explosives in shock trials

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford completed Full Ship Shock Trials, involving the detonation of explosives, on Friday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy
The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford completed Full Ship Shock Trials, involving the detonation of explosives, on Friday. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

June 21 (UPI) -- The USS Gerald R. Ford completed its Full Ship Shock Trials, involving detonation of thousands of pounds of explosives to simulate battle conditions, the U.S. Navy announced.

The Navy on Sunday released video of the exercise, the first of three planned shock trials, after it was conducted off the Florida coast in the Atlantic Ocean.

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The ship was wired with sensors for the trial, conducted Friday, and the U.S. Geological Survey recorded the blasts as equivalent to a 3.9-magnitude earthquake.

The aircraft carrier, the first in a new class of vessels and commissioned in 2017, was "designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship," a U.S. Navy statement on Sunday said.

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Shock trials are common for newly-designed vessels. The last occurred in 2016 to the Littoral Combat Ships USS Jackson, an Independence-class variant, and the USS Milwaukee, a Freedom-class LCS.

"The leadership and crew demonstrated Navy Readiness fighting through the shock, proving our warship can 'take a hit' and continue our mission on the cutting edge of #NavalAviation!," a Twitter statement from the ship said.

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The USS Gerald R. Ford is considered the Navy's most advanced aircraft carrier, despite cost overruns and the inability, at the time of the shock trials, to operate four of 11 weapons elevators.

The lower-stage elevators on the vessel, used to move ordnance, have been a problem since construction began in 2009.

The ship, designed to carry 75 aircraft and 5,000 officers and crew, completed its combat systems tests, including the firing of its RIM-116 RAM missiles, in April, and its post-delivery tests in May.

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