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Navy League 2022: Carrier Ford reaches IOC while keel is laid for Enterprise

USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) reached initial operational capability. (Michael Fabey)

The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) reached initial operational capability (IOC), while the keel was laid for the third carrier of the Ford class, Enterprise (CVN 80), US Navy (USN) officials said on 5 April at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space 2022 Conference and Exposition, which started on 4 April at National Harbor, Maryland.

Ford , the first ship of the new carrier class, reached IOC on 22 December 2021 after the 11th and final Advanced Weapons Elevator (AWE) was turned over to the carrier crew, Rear Admiral James Downey, the programme executive officer for carriers, confirmed after a briefing on carriers at the conference.

The AWE turnover was the final step needed for the IOC, Rear Adm Downey said.

Ford is preparing for its first operational deployment during the third quarter of this year, Captain Brian Metcalf, programme executive officer for the Ford-class programme, said during the briefing.

Although the Enterprise ' s keel was just laid on 5 April, according to programme officials, Capt Metcalf said during the briefing that the ship is 15% complete and remains on track for delivery in 2028.

In other Ford-class programme updates, Capt Metcalf noted John F Kennedy (CVN 79) is about 85% complete, while the first steel cut for Doris Miller (CVN 81) took place in August 2021.

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