US Navy conducts first of three blasts in carrier Gerald R. Ford shock trials

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy conducted the first of three in-water blasts near first-in-class aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, kicking off the full-ship shock trials process on a nuclear-powered flattop for the first time in 34 years.

The Navy’s shock trial event, the first of its kind on any class of ship since 2016, aims to prove the new carrier can withstand a hit in combat. The ship will go through another scheduled blast in July, Lt. Cmdr. Desiree Frame. a Ford spokeswoman, told Defense News.

“In a shock trial, a ship undergoes three 40,000-pound explosive charge detonations which occur successively closer to the ship,” she said. Exact dates for each event are dependent on sea state, weather, marine mammal activity and other factors.

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