The USS Gerald R. Ford successfully launched and landed its first fixed-wing aircraft on Friday, off the coast of Virginia.
This comes days after President Donald Trump commissioned the U.S. Navy's newest aircraft carrier, which was launched the jet via an electromagnetic launch system (EMALS) and landed through the use of advanced arresting gear (AAG).
In a statement, Adm. Phil Davidson, commander at U.S. Fleet Forces, explained that "the USS Gerald R. Ford made history with the successful landing and launching of aircraft from VX-23 using the AAG and EMALS."
According to Capt. Rick McCormack, Ford's commanding officer, this was the first initiation of a shipboard recovery and launch of a fleet fixed-wing aircraft.
"My team has worked closely with industry, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), and the flight test community to make this historic event in naval aviation happen. I am very proud of my crew," he said.
Fox News noted that Trump previously encouraged the Navy to continue using the steam-based catapult system when concerns were raised regarding the cost of the USS Ford.
However, last week the president signed off on the project, which amounted to almost $13 billion.
Speaking at the launch of the craft at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, Trump said, "in a few moments I will commission this wonderful beautiful but very, very powerful warship."
He went on to sing praise to the team responsible for the construction and completion of the air craft, saying "America takes pride in you, we love you, we are proud of you, thank you."
Trump explained to spectators that the USS Gerald R. Ford had been named after the 38th president and paid tribute to his legacy: "With this ship we honor him for his lifetime of selfless and distinguished service."
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