Share story

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier will officially join the fleet Saturday at a commissioning overseen by President Donald Trump. But four years will likely pass before the ship’s first deployment.

The USS Gerald R. Ford still must go through various tests and trials of its cutting-edge technology, including new systems to launch and land fighter jets. A Government Accountability Office report released this month said the Navy could spend another $780 million preparing the $12.9 billion carrier for battle.

Named after the country’s 38th president, the ship is the first of the new Ford class of aircraft carrier. The vessel can carry more planes and operate with several hundred fewer sailors. Flying missions are expected to increase by a third.

The commissioning will be held at Naval Station Norfolk.