The United States Navy set off thousands of pounds of explosives near its newest aircraft carrier last week in a test off the Atlantic coast to see how the warship would fare under simulated battle conditions.
In a press release complete with incredible photos and video on Friday, the Navy announced that USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) had successfully completed its first scheduled explosive test event as part of the Full Ship Shock Trials.
The shock trial tests, which have been routinely conducted on different carriers over the last several decades, are intended to assess the shock hardness and military readiness of the ships ahead of deployment. This most recent test was reportedly conducted in compliance with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2016.
Dramatic video obtained and posted online by the U.S. Naval Institute shows several perspectives of the test explosion, including one from aboard the ship. As the explosives go off, the camera visibly shakes in response to the force of the blast.
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Other angles show the explosion resulting in water soaring high above the ship as a seismic wave spreads over the massive blast radius. The ship, however, looks unaffected.
"The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship," the Navy said in a statement.
According to the Naval Institute's news arm, the ship was wired with sensors to measure the effects of the shock as it was hit with a blast roughly 100 miles off the east coast of Florida.
The U.S. Geological Survey reportedly registered the blast as a 3.9 magnitude earthquake.
The Gerald R. Ford's commanding officer, Capt. Paul Lanzilotta, reportedly told USNI News in March that his crew was busying themselves preparing for the major testing event.
"That's quite a bit of work when you have a ship with 5,000 spaces in it, so we have to prepare all of our gear," he said. "We're also going to prepare the crew: so the crew has to know what to expect, they need to practice their damage control procedures because that's something that we all need to be good at, and when we shock the ship we need to make sure that we have the ship in as ready a condition as we can."
Friday's test was the first of three planned shock tests to assess the ship before its first deployment.