170408 n wz792 070 New aircraft carrier completes first landing and launch

The future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) underway on its own power for the first time. The first-of-class ship — the first new U.S. aircraft carrier design in 40 years — will spend several days conducting builder’s sea trials, a comprehensive test of many of the ship’s key systems and technologies. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ridge Leoni/Released)

NORFOLK, Va. -€” The nation’s newest aircraft carrier has successfully completed its first launch and landing of a fixed-wing aircraft using new technology.

The U.S. Navy said an F/A-18 Super Hornet landed on the USS Gerald R. Ford on Friday afternoon and was launched using an electromagnetic launch system a short time later.

The successful test off the Virginia coast comes after President Donald Trump helped commission the $12.9 billion warship July 22, calling it a “100,000-ton message to the world.”

Trump had previously criticized the carrier’s cutting-edge systems to launch and land fighter jets, saying the Navy should go back to using steam catapults because the new systems were costly and “no good.”

Named after the country’s 38th president, the ship is the first of the new Ford class of aircraft carrier.

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