The USS Gerald Ford supercarrier was accepted by the U.S. Navy, the military branch announced Thursday after 12 years of construction and testing.
The Navy accepted delivery of the aircraft carrier in Newport News, Virginia, on Wednesday, according to a Navy statement. The USS Ford will be commissioned into the fleet this summer, which will officially put the ship into active service.
With its larger flight deck, the $12.9 billion ship will be able to accommodate more aircraft, weapons and aviation fuel than any other carrier, The Hill reported. The ship will lead a new class of carriers by the same name and is the Navy's first since the USS George H.W. Bush was delivered in 2009.
"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," Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, said in a Navy statement.
"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 because of them that Ford performed so well during acceptance trials, as noted by the Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey," Antonio added.
The Navy statement pointed out that the Ford will carry the new Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arresting Gear, allowing it increase sortie rates by one-third when compared to the Nimitz class.
It will then conduct several at-sea events to provide longer underway periods for the ship's crew to operate and train on ship's systems, noted the Navy's statement.
The carrier is named after the 38th president of the United States, who served as a lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II and in Congress from 1948 to 1973, noted his White House biography.
The Hill wrote that Senate Armed Services Committee chairman John McCain had led criticism of the Ford class over its cost overruns over the past 10 years. President Donald Trump earlier criticized the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, saying that he wants to use "goddamned steam" catapults instead, noted the newspaper.
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