Last week the US Navy successfully conducted a ‘full ship shock trial’ (FSST) on the USS Gerald R Ford. This is the newest and most advanced nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the US Navy undergoing trials and was able to withstand a huge explosion in the Atlantic Ocean.
The shock trials are expected to provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship.
Why was the test conducted?
It was to ensure the capability of the USS Gerald R Ford to withstand battle conditions.
The test included the detonation of around 18 tonnes of explosives a few meters near the ship. And, approximately 160 km off the coastal state of Florida, the mega blast triggered an earthquake of 3.9 magnitude at sea.
And the news of this test was based on the videos of the test released by the US military which stated that the “The US Navy 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.”
What is a Full Ship Shock Trial (FSST)?
After almost 34 long years a test of this scale has been carried out. A similar test was carried out in 1987 on USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The test conducted for the Ford is one of the three blasts scheduled.
Referring to the environmental concerns such a test could generate, the official statement stated, “The shock trials are being conducted “within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life in the test area.”
More about the USS Gerald Ford
Commissioned in 2017 by the former US President Donald Trump, it is the lead ship of the Gerald R Ford class.