'Undersea eruption' tests new carrier

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 22 Jun 2021

The US Navy has been testing its newest and most advanced aircraft carrier by setting off powerful explosives below the surface to determine whether the ship is ready for war.

The first of what are known as full ship shock trials for the Gerald R Ford was on Friday in the Atlantic near Florida.

Images released yesterday show an enormous burst of water shooting from the ocean as a result of the detonation of 18,144 kilograms of explosives.

The US Geological Survey said the explosion off the Florida coast registered as a 3.9-magnitude earthquake.

The navy explained it "conducts shock trials of new ship designs using live explosives to confirm that our warships can continue to meet demanding mission requirements under harsh conditions they might encounter in battle."

After the trials the carrier will undergo inspections and, if necessary, maintenance and repairs.

In a bid to show it is aware sea creatures could suffer, the navy said it was conducting the tests "within a narrow schedule that complies with environmental mitigation requirements, respecting known migration patterns of marine life."

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