The Navy said this week it has accepted delivery of the multibillion-dollar aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), following acceptance trials.
"Congratulations to everyone who has helped bring CVN-78 to this historic milestone," Rear Adm. Brian Antonio, program executive officer for aircraft carriers, said in a Navy statement. "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."
The Ford is the first aircraft carrier to join the fleet since the Nimitz-class George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was delivered in 2009.
This summer, the Navy plans to commission the Ford, formally placing it into active service. CVN-78 will then enter "shakedown" to allow the crew to operate and train on the ship's systems; planned and deferred work will also be completed.
The Ford is expected to be operational in 2020 following achievement of initial operational capability, according to the service.