Aircraft carrier shock test off Florida coast registers as 3.9 magnitude earthquake

An explosives trial Friday to test the durability of the U.S. Navy’s latest carrier registered as a 3.9 magnitude earthquake.

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The Navy blasted thousands of pounds of explosives around 4 p.m. near the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford about 100 miles off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic Ocean to simulate battle conditions, the U.S. Naval Institute reported.

“The first-in-class aircraft carrier was designed using advanced computer modeling methods, testing, and analysis to ensure the ship is hardened to withstand battle conditions, and these shock trials provide data used in validating the shock hardness of the ship,” the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy has conducted full ship shock trials for decades. The most recent was in 2016 on the U.S.S. Jackson and U.S.S. Milwaukee combat ships. The last aircraft carrier to undergo the testing was the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt in 1987.

Capt. Paul Lanzilotta said the crew had been preparing for the test for months.

“That’s quite a bit of work when you have a ship with 5,000 spaces in it, so we have to prepare all of our gear,” he told the Naval Institute. “We’re also going to prepare the crew: so the crew has to know what to expect, they need to practice their damage control procedures because that’s something that we all need to be good at, and when we shock the ship we need to make sure that we have the ship in as ready a condition as we can.”