This website uses cookies to manage authentication, navigation, and other functions. By using our website, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.

Crew of US Navy USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier conducts Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials


According to pictures released by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) on April 15, 2021, the crew of the U.S. Navy USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) aircraft carrier has conducted Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials (CSSQT).
Follow Navy Recognition on Google News at this link


Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 An evolved sea sparrow missile (ESSM) launches from USS Gerald R. Ford’s (CVN 78) during combat systems ship qualification trials (CSSQT), April 16, 2021. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The CSSQT (Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials) is a Naval Sea Systems Command requirement to verify that ship personnel can operate and maintain their combat systems in a safe and effective manner.

During the CSSQT, the crew of the USS Gerald R. Ford has used all the onboard weapon systems of the ship performing live firing with Phalanx CIWS (Close-In Weapon System), RIM-162 ESSM launchers, rolling airframe missile (RAM) launcher and an evolved sea sparrow missile (ESSM).

The USS Gerald R. Ford is the latest generation of aircraft carrier in service with the U.S. Navy and the lead ship of her class. The keel of Gerald R. Ford was laid down on 13 November 2009. She was christened on 9 November 2013. The ship was delivered to the U.S. Navy on 31 May 2017 and formally commissioned by President Donald Trump on 22 July 2017. Currently, one Gerald R. Ford-class is in service with the U.S. Navy and four additional ships will be delivered by 2036.

The armament of the USS Gerald R. Ford consist of two RIM-162 ESSM launchers, two RIM-116 RAM, three Phalanx CIWS, and four M2 .50 Cal. (12.7 mm) machine guns. The RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) is a medium-range, surface-to-air missile designed and manufactured by the American company Raytheon Missile Systems. The missile can be launched from a quad-pack canister for the MK 41 VLS (Vertical Launching System) shipborne launching system or in a single pack for the MK 29 trainable launcher and MK 48 guided missile VLS. The missile has an operational range of 50 km and can fly at a speed of Mach 4.


Crew of US Navy USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier conducts Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials 925 002
A rolling airframe missile (RAM) launcher fires a RIM-116 missile from USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) during combat systems ship qualification trials (CSSQT), April 16, 2021. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) is a small, lightweight, infrared homing surface-to-air missile that was developed by General Dynamics Pomona and Valley Systems divisions under a July 1976 agreement with Denmark and West Germany (the General Dynamics missile business was later acquired by Hughes Aircraft and is today part of Raytheon). The fire-and-forget missile is designed to destroy anti-ship cruise missiles and asymmetric air and surface threats. The missile has an operational range of 10 km.


Crew of US Navy USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier conducts Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials 925 003
A close-in weapons system aboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is tested on Ford’s fantail as part of combat systems ship qualification trials (CSSQT), April 15, 2021. (Picture source U.S. Navy)


The Phalanx is a Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) designed to destroy incoming threats such as small boats, surface torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, and helicopters. The CIWS consists of one 20mm M-61A1 rotating cannon with six barrels and one search and track radar and FLIR (Forward-looking infrared) camera. Phalanx Block fires a 20mm sabot projectile with a tungsten penetrator with an effective firing range of 1,480 m and a maximum firing range of 5,500 m.