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The Navy Dropped 40,000 Pound Explosives Near Its New Aircraft Carrier

USS Gerald R. Ford
ATLANTIC OCEAN (July 28, 2017) An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 approaches the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) for an arrested landing. The aircraft carrier is underway conducting test and evaluation operations.(U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt/Released) 170728-N-UZ648-161

The US Navy has been putting its new aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford to the test this summer in shock trials, during which it detonated multiple 40,000-pound explosives near the ship.

The Navy wrapped up the third and final explosive event on Sunday. Each test moved the bomb progressively closer to the carrier.

Full ship shock trials, which evaluate a ship’s ability to withstand the shock of an explosion and keep fighting, are rare occurrences that most Navy sailors never experience. The last carrier to be shocked was the USS Theodore Roosevelt in 1987.

The service released photos and videos of the latest testing, including one that shows the ship jolting as the blast wave hits, with crew bracing for shock.

Two Ford sailors told Insider about their experiences with the latest shock trials, offering perspectives from both the bridge and below deck.

Written By

Ryan Pickrell is a senior military and defense reporter at Business Insider, where he covers the Pentagon and defense-related issues from Washington, DC.

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