The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier – USS Gerald R. Ford – successfully launched and landed an aircraft with advanced digital, magnetic technology. This now replaces the older steam-driven catapult system.

Friday’s successful missions came less than a week after President Trump commissioned the nearly $13 billion ship in Virginia. Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces says:

“Today, USS Gerald R. Ford made history. Great work by the Ford team and all the engineers who have worked hard to get the ship ready for this milestone.”

Last spring, President Trump suggested that the Navy continue to use the steam-based catapult system to launch and snag aircraft on and off ships’ flight decks, amid the continued concerns about the cost to complete the USS Ford.

According to the Navy, The new technology had been successfully tested ashore at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Capt. Rick McCormack, Ford’s commanding officer says:

“This is the first shipboard recovery and launch of a fleet fixed wing aircraft.”

The aircraft used were A-18F Superhornet fighter jets, based at the naval base at Patuxent River, Maryland.