The newest generation of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier is now being tested. The USS Gerald R. Ford is updated with the newest technology, including new accommodations for its use of unmanned drones. The testing will take two years, and the ship is set to officially join the ranks of the fleet in 2016.
The U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier — a massive warship outfitted with the latest radar technology and sophisticated systems to accommodate unmanned, carrier-launched drones — is set to undergo more than two years of rigorous testing.
The USS Ford was christened during a special ceremony in November in Newport News, Va. The massive warship is slated to officially enter service in the Navy in 2016. But first, shipbuilders will spend 26 months meticulously testing the aircraft carrier’s various systems.
“We’re kind of in the infancy stage of the test program, and the early returns are good,” Rear Adm. Thomas Moore, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, told the Daily Press. “We have a long way to go.”
The USS Ford’s testing phase is longer and more labor intensive than normal because the next-generation warship incorporates many new technologies, including upgraded radar systems, more efficient nuclear power plants and electromagnetic launchers designed to more effectively propel aircraft off the carrier’s deck.