The US Navy on Friday, 18th of June conducted a full ship shock trial for the new, world’s largest aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford with the detonation of a massive 40000-pound explosive bomb off the Palm Coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean.
This was the first of three water blasts to be conducted to test the shock hardness of the aircraft carrier. This is the first time in 34 years that a full ship shock trial has been conducted on a vessel with a nuclear-powered flattop by the US Navy and was first after 2016 on any ship.
The shock trial was followed by a 3.9 magnitude earthquake around 4:00 PM with its epicenter about 161 kilometers off the coast of Florida as noted by the United States Geological Survey Department.
The official statement by the US Navy said that it “conducts shock trials of new ship designs using live explosives to confirm that our warships can continue to meet demanding mission requirements under harsh conditions they might encounter in battle." The statement added that the trial was done keeping in mind all environmental regulations, within a narrow schedule respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area.
The US Navy on Sunday, 20th of June took to various media platforms after the official press release to upload videos and photos of the shock trials which later went viral and took the rounds on the internet. The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford is 333 meters long, 77m high, and has a displacement of 100,000 tonnes.
For successful conduction of the full ship shock trial, the vessel will have to withstand two similar explosions with the same 40000 pounds of live explosives but from closer distances. The exact dates for these explosions have not been fixed and will be done keeping in mind all the environmental mitigating factors.
The navy in its statement noted that after the completion of the shock trial USS Gerald R. Ford will undergo maintenance, repairs, and modernization for 6-months before being deployed to any future missions.