Next-generation Aircraft Carrier Builder's Sea Trials Done

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford heads to the Norfolk, Va., naval station on April 14, after nearly a week of builder's trials. (Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford heads to the Norfolk, Va., naval station on April 14, after nearly a week of builder's trials. (Bill Tiernan/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

NORFOLK, Va. -- A shipbuilder says the USS Gerald R. Ford, the first of the Navy's next generation of aircraft carriers, has completed the builder's sea trials.

Rolf Bartschi is Newport News Shipbuilding's vice president for the Ford's construction. He told The Virginian-Pilot that the carrier spent a week at sea, undergoing tests of its systems with Navy representatives on board. Those trials concluded Friday, he added in a statement.

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Construction on the $12.9 billion carrier began in 2009, meeting with cost overruns and delays. The warship was supposed to have been completed by September 2015 for $10.5 billion. But issues arose with the Ford's advanced systems and technology, including aircraft landing equipment and power generation.

The shipbuilder says the Ford next must undergo acceptance trials by the Navy, prior to delivery.

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