Sea trials begin for Navy’s newest class of aircraft carrier

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the USS Gerald R. Ford embarked on the first of its sea trials to test various state-of-the-art systems on its own power for the first time Saturday, April 8, 2017, from Newport News, Va. The first of the Navy's new class of aircraft carriers will spend several days conducting builder's sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship's key systems and technologies. (Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/U.S. Navy via AP)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) – The U.S. Navy says the first of its new class of aircraft carriers has headed out to sea.

The USS Gerald R. Ford embarked Saturday on the first of its sea trials to test various state-of-the-art systems.

The $12.9 billion carrier departed from Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News after more than a year’s delay and cost overruns.

Construction on the Ford started in 2009. It was supposed to finish by September 2015, with costs at $10.5 billion. But there were issues with the carrier’s advanced systems and technology, including aircraft landing equipment and power generation.

The ship is currently undergoing builder’s trials. It will return to port in Virginia before embarking again for “acceptance trials,” which are conducted by Navy inspectors.

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