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Carrier Ford transits to Newport News Shipbuilding for Planned Incremental Availability

Aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) departed Naval Station Norfolk on 20 August to make the transit to Newport News Shipyard to start the ship's Planned Incremental Availability (PIA), a six-month period of modernisation, maintenance, and repairs, US Navy (USN) officials confirmed.

Ford 's PIA is scheduled to serve as the final maintenance phase for the ship prior to its inaugural deployment planned for next year, USN officials pointed out.

Noting that the PIA is a “brief but important maintenance period”, Captain Paul Lanzilotta, Ford 's commanding officer added, “This PIA is the last milestone for us to complete prior to our first work ups and deployment.”

The move to Newport News, the USN official said, follows “a fast-paced and successful 21 months of post-delivery test and trials (PDT&T) and Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST), an intense testing and trials period crucial to ensuring the overall deployment readiness of Ford ”.

USS Gerald R Ford completed its third shock trial in early August. (US Navy)

USS Gerald R Ford completed its third shock trial in early August. (US Navy)

Ford 's recent experience, USN officials added, will improve the construction and ship trial process for follow-on carriers in the class – the USS John F Kennedy (CVN 79), USS Enterprise (CVN 80), and USS Doris Miller (CVN 81).

Besides completing required testing and maintenance during PDT&T, the ship and crew increased the reliability of Ford-class systems and served as the sole East Coast platform and team for conducting carrier qualifications, qualifying more than 350 pilots, the USN reported.

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